Lawmakers Advance New Option for Failing Schools

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Troubled schools could be placed in a special district operated by turnaround specialists under a plan advancing in the Texas Legislature.

In a 26-5 vote on Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill that would create a Texas Achievement School District. It still must pass the House.

Under current law, the state education commissioner can prescribe sanctions for schools with low test scores. They range from staff changes to closure.

The bill would allow the commissioner to transfer a school to the new district after two consecutive years of low scores. An amendment specified that local property tax funds would remain with the local district.

Democratic Sen. Royce West of Dallas said "this is the right thing to do for the children that are trapped in low-performing schools."



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