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charter school 1304411 Texas House Committee Evaluates Charter Schools

A student raises her hand during class. (credit: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)

AUSTIN (AP) –  The Texas House Public Education committee is discussing the success and failure of charter schools statewide.

Members on Friday are evaluating what works at the best charter schools and how those lessons can be applied to charter schools that aren’t successful.

Charter schools were first approved in Texas in 1995 and are allowed to operate with fewer legal restrictions than regular public schools so as to allow for innovation.

Current law caps the number of open-enrollment charter schools in the state at 215, and 206 are currently operating.

Some Republicans have clamored for the cap to be increased.

But critics point to existing charter schools that are struggling with low student and teacher performance and argue they should be improved before new ones are allowed.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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