Texas charter school bill would put end to nepotism

Friday, May 17, 2013

Texas charter schools can hire relatives of board members and superintendents. It’s a unique perk that was meant to foster innovation but has led to abuses of taxpayer dollars.

A charter school bill scheduled for debate Thursday in the Texas House would scrap that perk. Charter schools would have to follow the same anti-nepotism laws that apply to traditional school districts and other public bodies.

Critics say nepotism invites too many problems — like awarding high-paying jobs and contracts to people who have the right family connections but not the right work credentials.

“It reeks of impropriety. It does not give the sense of security the public should have with their funds and parents should have with their students,” said Lindsay Gustafson, an attorney with the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. The group represents teachers in traditional and charter schools.

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