After nearly 15 years in the state, charter schools educate nearly 100,000 students in Texas. If they were managed by one district, it would be among the largest school systems in the state. The movement may soon grow substantially in a friendlier political environment than the schools have enjoyed in the past. David Dunn, former special assistant to former President George W. Bush and chief of staff to former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, returned a year ago to Austin to found the fledgling Texas Charter School Association. In a wide-ranging conversation with The Texas Tribune, he addresses the future of charters, their support from President Obama, and controversial issues around charter expansion, financing and accountability.
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