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The Brief: Will charter schools get more funding this session?

Legislators and advocates looking to increase charter school funding are facing an uphill battle this session.

Advocates showed their support for charter schools during an April 29, 2015, rally at the Texas Capitol.

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What you need to know

Legislators and advocates looking to increase charter school funding are facing an uphill battle this session. Six lawmakers are pushing bills at the Capitol to increase per-student funding for charter schools — a move, they say, that would more closely match state spending on traditional schools. 

  • With a tight state budget, it's unlikely the measures will succeed. Advocates are optimistic, saying they're setting the stage for a long-term victory.
  • But critics say charter schools already receive more funding per student than the large urban districts with which they compete for students. Thomas Ratliff, former chair of the State Board of Education, said complicated formulas for school finance in Texas mean that many fast-growing school districts aren't receiving needed funding for facilities. 
  • Meanwhile, a House committee is already considering a measure that would inject $1.6 billion into the public education system, boosting per-student funding for nearly every public and charter school in Texas

What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

Media the enemy? Trump is sure an insatiable consumer, AP

In major shift, White House privately backing earlier rollback of Medicaid expansion, CNN

Suspect held in connection with mosque fire, The Victoria Advocate

NAFTA talk probably won't start until 2018, Texas Monthly 

The rise, then shame, of Baylor Nation, The New York Times ($)

A bill to decriminalize marijuana is getting a hearing in the Texas House, San Antonio Express-News ($)

Photo of the day

Former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis spoke to students at the “Not On My Campus" event at UT-Austin on Thursday night. Photo by Shelby Knowles. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"We're not the wine police... But it's an uphill battle because there are already other wineries who have come through and tried to pull wool over people's eyes."

— Chris Brundrett, a Texas grape grower and winemaker, on why he supports a bill filed at the Texas Capitol that would require that Texas-labeled wines be made from 100 percent Texas-grown grapes, rather than 75 percent under current law. 

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email thebrief@texastribune.org. We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.

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