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Education

Texas AG: No Permanent School Funds to Help Charter Schools

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Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
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The fifteen-member State Board of Education is responsible for managing the $25 billion Permanent School Fund.

The State Board of Education cannot use money from the $25 billion Permanent School Fund to help charter schools acquire buildings or other facilities, according to a legal opinion issued today by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He said the only consideration for investment should be how much money the SBOE earns on it, and how safe that investment is.

Charter schools are publicly funded and licensed, but are not eligible for facilities funding from the state. Back in January, then SBOE-chair Gail Lowe asked Abbott if the board could invest in charter schools with the “ancillary purpose of assisting charter schools in acquiring instructional facilities.”

In today’s legal opinion, Abbott writes that the Texas Constitution allows the board only to consider “probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital” when investing Permanent School Fund money.