The Senate passed Sen. Dan Patrick’s major charter school reform bill Thursday afternoon, in a version far different from what Patrick introduced earlier this session.
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Last week the Senate Finance Committee approved the state budget, which the Senate is expected to take up on Wednesday.
It was a telling diversion in an otherwise agreeable budget meeting to watch a pair of Democratic senators try to make Patrick, the usually tight-fisted tea party favorite, defend the extra cost of his school reform plans.
But between the guest of honor’s last name and his tremendous faith in high-stakes testing, visiting the Senate chamber this morning felt a lot less like reform than a trip back to 1999.
Dan Patrick’s charter school bill reads like a wish list for school choice fans: facilities funding for charter schools, an end to the cap on state-approved charters, and a dedicated board to grant charters.