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Patrick: Students ‘Crying’ For More School Choice

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File photo of an empty classroom. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of an empty classroom. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The head of the Senate Education Committee says opposing his efforts to dramatically expand charter schools in Texas is tantamount to condemning 100,000 families statewide to endless waitlists.

During a Thursday hearing on his high-profile bill, state Sen. Dan Patrick said members of the public testifying against it are opposing families “desperate for their children to have choice.”

The Houston Republican’s bill would lift the current limit of 215 licenses to operate charter schools statewide.

It also would allow charter schools to receive public money for facilities expenses, not just for operations as under present state law.

Charter schools educate about 135,000 of Texas’ 5 million-plus public school students, though about 101,000 others are on waitlists.

Past efforts to expand Texas charter school have fizzled amid opposition from both parties.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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