The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban is pretty much synonymous with his adopted city – the big D. But Cuban returned to his hometown in Pennsylvania over the weekend to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. He also took the opportunity to use some local slang to describe Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump.
“You know what we call a person like that… the yellers, the screamers, the people who try to intimidate you?” Cuban said. “You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jag-off!”
Cuban then posed the following rhetorical question: “Is there any bigger jag-off in the world than Donald Trump?”
Also: Whether you’re excited or filled with dread – school will soon be back in session. Depending on who you are, you might have similar feelings about the impending 2017 legislative session. But one organization representing schools in Texas has been doing its homework before lawmakers return to their seats in the Capitol. David Dunn, the executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association, says the top priority for his group is getting more funding for charter school buildings.
“Charter schools get the statewide average of operational and instructional funds, but no direct support for facilities,” he says. “Essentially, charter schools have to take money out of the instructional side in order to pay the rent or in order to pay the mortgage. So that’s why you see a number of charter schools with retrofit – an abandoned Target, an abandoned HEB. We’ve got one here in Austin that retrofitted an abandoned bowling alley.”
Dunn says solutions like those stem from a lack of funding. “On average charter schools receive about a thousand dollars per student less than their ISD counterparts,” he says. “We just don’t think it’s appropriate for the parent of that student to be essentially penalized or underfunded simply because they exercised a right provided within the public school system.”
If charter schools did end up getting direct facilities funding – would this go to new buildings? Or could it mean charter schools would be competing against ISDs for space?
“Our position is that the legislature should provide a direct-per-pupil amount and then charter schools can decide how best to spend that money,” Dunn says. “…We’ve got a number of ISDs that are starting to enter into partnerships with charter schools, so we’re starting to see more and more ISDs interested in establishing these kinds of partnerships.”
And: A South Texas research facility has to pay up to the feds after 13 primates died in its care. Covance Research Products in Alice has to pay more than $30,000 in fines for the 2014 deaths.