Teachers Unions File Suit

Believe Senate Bill 1882 will lead to “charterization” of public school system

Texas American Federation of Teachers President Louis Malfaro
Texas American Federation of Teachers President Louis Malfaro (Photo by Jana Birchum)

The Texas American Federation of Teachers and Texas State Teachers Association filed a joint lawsuit against Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath over legislation that they say allows charter networks to grow inside public school districts. The law in question (Senate Bill 1882), was passed during the 2017 legislative session and permits school districts to contract with outside groups to help improve academic performance at struggling schools. Critics say the law could lead to the "charterization" of the public school system, because school districts would be incentivized to outsource the running of some schools to groups that are not accountable to the district's administration or elected board of trustees.

Filed in a Travis County district court, the suit alleges that rules Morath put in place in implementing SB 1882 weakened protections for public school employees. Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro accused Morath of making "an unlawful power grab" by reserving authority to approve "charter takeovers" across the state. The suit also argues that a TEA rule that requires a targeted campus to be exempt from any district policy not agreed to between the operating group and the school district is in violation of state law. The two teachers unions are asking that the court invalidate Morath's rules.

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Senate Bill 1882, Mike Morath, Texas American Federation of Teachers, Texas State Teachers Union, Louis Malfaro

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