Charter Schools and xenophobia

Dan Patrick’s bill, SB2, to expand Charter Schools, has passed the House of Representatives, the Texas Tribune reports. The bill, like the House Panel version, increases the number of charter schools, per year, by 10 rather than 15. You can see my broader thoughts on the issue in a previous post.

What makes the House version so much more interesting is one of the amendments stuck onto it. An amendment by Representative Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) was approved which will “require a majority of a charter school’s board to be “qualified voters,” or U.S. citizens.” The amendment was obviously done as a not-so-subtle jab to the Harmony Schools charter system, which is largely run by a group of Turkish nationals.

The Zedler amendment passed, overwhelmingly. The way the House Journal explained the vote, it only mentioned the “no” votes, of which there were 15. Those not present or otherwise not voting were not indicated apart from those who voted in the affirmative. Still, I am surprised and disappointed by the nativist, bigoted vote taken today by the legislature. I am not surprised, however, by the complacency by House Democrats. I’ve gotten used to it.

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