News Roundup: Julián Castro And Beto O’Rourke Will Face Eight Other Democrats At Tonight’s Debate

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Kristen CabreraJune 26, 2019 12:34 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Two Texas presidential hopefuls are sharing the stage tonight in the first of two televised Democratic primary debates in Miami. Former Obama cabinet member and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, and former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke, will face off against fellow Democrats, including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. 

O’Rourke told NBC News that the debaters face a challenge in getting their points across.

“You have 60 seconds to get across an answer to a question on the most important issues that are out there. So somehow ensure that beyond the policy points that many of us will share, that we get across what’s different about this campaign,” O’Rourke said.

Castro also says he’s striving to make sure his ideas get heard.

“The challenge is to make sure I capitalize on that, and then do well in the debate and let people know about my ideas so that we can have a more prosperous United States,” Castro said in a report by Texas Public Radio.

The debates will air at 8 p.m. Central on NBC.

A graphic image depicting the drowned bodies of 25-year-old Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, published by the Associated Press, is sparking both horror and outrage. 

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro told The New York Times, “It’s very hard to see that photograph. It’s our version of the Syrian photograph — of the 3-year-old boy on the beach, dead.”

The photo is attached to an AP story detailing the circumstances of their death, as witnessed by Valeria’s mother. The father and daughter were found on the Mexican banks of the Rio Grande after reportedly being denied the chance to apply for asylum in the U.S. 

Texas schools are spending the summer getting ready for students to return in the fall. And that preparation has dramatically changed because of billions of additional dollars from the new school finance law passed by the state legislature. KUT’s Sangita Menon looked at what the new law mean for Texas charter schools:

Charter schools will get about $760 more per student thanks to the new school finance law. That’s compared to a roughly $1,000 increase per student in traditional public schools. Starlee Coleman is CEO of the Texas Charter School Association. 

“We’re at a $1,700 funding disadvantage today. So, now, with HB 3, that funding gap will grow, which was not the direction we were hoping that things would go for us,” [Coleman said.]

Coleman says that charter and regular schools have to spend 30% of additional school funding on salary increases. She says the growing funding gap between the two systems is going to make it challenging for charter schools to provide competitive salaries for teachers.