Published Online: July 16, 2014

Texas education board scolds state commissioner

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education is scolding the state's top education official for overriding a board veto and allowing an Arizona-based charter school operator to open campuses in suburban Dallas.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams endured sharp, bipartisan criticism while addressing the board Wednesday. At issue is his decision to allow Great Hearts Academies to expand in Texas.

The board voted in November to block a new charter in Plano for Great Hearts, saying it might not effectively serve economically disadvantaged students.

But since Great Hearts already had a charter for San Antonio, Williams unilaterally allowed it to expand to the Dallas area.

He said the Legislature wants Texas to accept more out-of-state charter operators.

But board members bristled, saying Williams isn't promoting the best interests of poor and minority students.


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