House to consider much-watched charter school bill


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The House is set to debate a plan to dramatically expand the number of charter schools allowed to operate in Texas - a sweeping proposal that's cleared the Senate but could face a tougher road in the lower chamber.

The proposal is sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick. He spent months calling for eliminating entirely the current cap of 215 charters issued statewide.

But the bill approved in the Senate is far more measured, increasing the cap by 10 for the 2014-2015 school year. It would then keep rising gradually to 305 by 2019.

Traditionally, House Democrats have opposed charter expansion, as have Republicans from rural areas.

Still, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, chairman of the House Public Education Committee, says expansion should get bipartisan support this time.

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