State Board of Education members vetoed a proposed charter school in the Dallas area Friday after complaints were raised that its operator has a history of catering to white students from more affluent families.
Board members voted, 9-6, to deny a state charter to Great Hearts Academies. The group had hoped to establish at least four campuses in the Dallas area, beginning with Irving.
The board approved a Great Hearts charter school in San Antonio last year, but that campus won’t open until next fall.
Great Hearts was one of four independent charter schools that Education Commissioner Michael Williams authorized in September, subject to the board’s approval.
The three other schools, in Austin, El Paso and San Antonio, won board approval Friday.
Board member Mavis Knight, D-Dallas, noted that the 15 Great Hearts charter schools in Phoenix — where the charter operator is based — have a much higher percentage of white students than the regular public schools in the Phoenix area. While 42 percent of the public school students are Hispanic, only 13 percent of the enrollment at the Great Hearts schools is Hispanic.