House Bill 2 Is about Privatization, Not Reform

House Bill 2 Is about Privatization, Not Reform


March 8, 2005

House Bill 2 is not a reform bill. It’s a privatization bill that sets Texas schools up for failure. It relies for funding on $3 billion in budget savings elsewhere that may never materialize. If legislators don’t find that money, then our schools are still stuck with a series of reckless measures in the bill.

For example, the bill lets exemplary schools ignore state standards that helped their students succeed in the first place. It also effectively redefines low-performing so that the rating applies to about 10 percent of our schools, up from the 1 percent that are currently rated as “academically inadequate.” The bill then allows the commissioner to turn those schools more than 400 of them over to for-profit, private education companies like Edison Schools, Inc., that have a terrible record of academic performance. In fact, at least 20 school districts across the country including Texas districts like Dallas and Sherman have severed ties with Edison because schools managed by the company perform so poorly.

Our legislators are clearly not listening to Texans who have repeatedly expressed their support for fully funding proven reforms like small class sizes and teacher certification that have helped our students succeed for the past two decades.