YES Prep Public Schools
Sarah Landsman, Managing Director of Advocacy


On January 13, Texas began what is likely to be one of her strangest legislative sessions. The session will revolve around two major issues: redistricting and the crafting of a post-pandemic budget. For the charter community, that means we are going to have to fight harder than ever to ensure our message is heard. Fortunately, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their intention to support public education this session. At YES Prep, we have been working with Houston-area lawmakers since last fall to make sure each knows about the exciting results YES Prep and charters provide for their communities. 

This monthly newsletter will share major legislative updates that affect YES Prep and other Texas charter schools.  

General updates

On the House side, the most pressing matter was electing a new Speaker of the House. Fortunately for charters, Representative Dade Phelan was voted into the role. Speaker Phelan has a full understanding of our issues and has signaled a willingness to work with us.  

On the Senate side, committees have already been released. We were pleased to see that Senator Larry Taylor was made the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. Chairman Taylor has been a constant advocate for charter schools and represents YES Prep Southeast Campus.  

The most exciting development so far has been the release of the budget drafts from both chambers. As of now, both versions include full funding for public education! This includes funding for the increases made by HB 3 last year and room for student growth over the next two years. There is still plenty of opportunities for things to change, but we’ll be advocating that the budget move forward without any cuts to public education. 

General updates
red thumbs down

House Bill 438, Representative Goodwin 

This bill limits charter expansion requests to once per biennium and allows State Board of Education (SBOE) 90 days to veto the expansion, even if the Commissioner approves. 

red thumbs down

House Bill 684, Representative Gonzalez.  

This bill creates a study to determine the charter impact on traditional ISDs and puts a 3-year hold on charter schools with the exception of dropout recovery schools, art schools and adult education schools. It also places expansion requests under SBOE instead of just TEA. 

green thumbs up

House Bill 1348, Representative Deshotel 

This bill prohibits cities from discriminating against charters. Local municipalities would be required to treat charters like traditional ISDs, since both are public schools. The Senate companion bill is Senate Bill 487 filed by Senator Hughes.  

green thumbs up

House Bill 1194 

This bill requires all public schools to report restraints administered to, complaints filed against, citations issued to, and arrests made of students. The data collected from this initiative would help all public schools move toward equity in discipline practices.  

There are a number of other bills that affect YES Prep; and, at this stage of the session, bills are still being filed. As soon as bills that affect charters are heard in a committee hearing (the first major step in a bill’s journey), we’ll start tracking them on the YES Prep Advocacy page. We’ll also be keeping you updated on major bills in this monthly newsletter. 

Stay engaged

You can visit our new YES Prep Advocacy Page for information throughout the legislative session! We’ll be sharing a bill tracker once committee hearings begin, so you can follow bills that matter to our community. You’ll also find key information about charters and ways that you can get involved in our advocacy efforts.  

If you have any questions about our advocacy efforts, reach out to Sarah Landsman at 

Upcoming Dates

Teacher Advocacy Rally - Tuesday, February 9,  5-6 p.m. 

We want every teacher and staff member to be informed and empowered to advocate for charters! Please join TPCSA at a virtual rally for charter educators. Register here! 

Community Advocacy Rally - Wednesday, February 10, 5:30-6:30 p.m. 

Nobody fights harder for kids than their family and caregivers! Please join TPCSA at a virtual rally for the entire charter community— parents, siblings, friends— anyone who’s passionate about quality education! Click here to register. 

Legislative Dates to Watch 

  • Bill Filing Deadline: March 12 
  • Sine Die (Last Day of Session): May 31 
  • Veto Deadline: June 20 
  • Bills go into effect: August 30 

Sign up to receive The News Update directly in your inbox

The News Update is YES Prep Public Schools monthly e-newsletter where we share the latest news, teacher and student stories, as well as upcoming events and important dates. 

Subscribe to newsletter