Sweeping Effort to Expand Charter Schools Faces Hurdles

When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Texas lawmakers recently to “go big or go home” on education reform, he offered advice that state Sen. Dan Patrick had already embraced.

In his new role as Senate Education Committee chairman, the Houston Republican has championed the reforms — robust virtual learning, unrestricted charter school growth and private school vouchers — advanced by national leaders like Bush.

Conservative, business-friendly Texas, where Republicans have controlled the House and Senate since 2003, would appear to be fertile ground for policies based on the philosophy that low regulation and high competition encourages innovation. But in the state ...

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