Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

The San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees voted Thursday evening to terminate the district's contract with an outside organization running four of the district’s schools. SAISD officials said the School Innovation Collaborative broke the terms of its contract with the district — and mismanaged district resources — by placing two of its employees on SAISD’s payroll even though they were not working at SAISD schools. view article arw

A key figure in a statewide charter school district, with roots in Killeen, died recently. A longtime educator, Killeen native Norman Hall, 100, died on Aug. 15. He died of natural causes at a nursing home in Georgetown, according to Richard Milburn Academy, a chain of statewide charter schools that Hall helped grow for more than two decades. “Norman was born October 2, 1922, to Dock and Lola Hall in their home in Bell County,” according to his obituary. “He attended schools in Killeen, graduating from Killeen High School.” view article arw

Third Future Schools has changed the fortunes of multiple schools in Midland-Odessa. And the charter operator is now helping its former boss Mike Miles, who has taken over at Houston ISD. Third Future Schools welcomed dozens of Houston ISD personnel to Midland-Odessa this week to see how academic change is happening in the region. The roster of Third Future Schools in Midland-Odessa includes Houston Collegiate Preparatory Academy and Lamar Elementary in Midland. This will be the first year for Lamar under the Third Future umbrella as Midland ISD turned the school over to its in-district partner because of failing marks and student outcome challenges. view article arw

Third Future Schools' ultimate goal is to earn at least a B+ rating for each campus by the 2026-2027 school year. view article arw

A group of parents, clergy and education activists in Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit asking a state court to block the opening of the St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, which could become the nation’s first religious charter school. The group claims that St. Isidore’s will discriminate if it becomes operational and that it violates the state constitution and state law, which requires that charter schools be “nonsectarian in [their] programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations.” The state’s virtual charter board approved the school in June; it is scheduled to open in fall of 2024. Attorneys from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, Education Law Center and Freedom From Religion Foundation are representing the group. In the lawsuit, they wrote that St. Isidore “will provide a religious education and indoctrinate its students in Catholic religious beliefs. view article arw

Organizations that opened new charter schools in Texas over the last five years frequently overestimated the number of students they would enroll in their early years when making their pitch for state approval, according to a review of statewide data. Of the 19 schools approved since 2017 that have opened, 18 fell short of their enrollment projections, and 14 were at least 20 percent lower than they estimated. In eight cases, enrollment was at least 60 percent less than the number projected. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislation that restricts self-dealing in real estate transactions for the state’s 6,000 charter schools, prompted by a Hearst Newspaper investigation earlier this year that highlighted questionable land deals and rental agreements made by the publicly funded schools. An analysis by Hearst Newspapers found cases in which administrators privately owned the school facilities and collected millions from charging rent to the same schools they run. In other cases, charter schools collected valuable real estate at great cost to taxpayers but with a tenuous connection to student learning. view article arw