Texas Standard for Oct. 9, 2023: A new special session begins at the state Capitol

It’s a big day at the state Capitol as lawmakers are called back into session by the governor. On the table: school savings accounts – what critics call vouchers – that some fear will upend public school funding.

By Texas StandardOctober 9, 2023 9:50 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, Oct. 9, 2023:

A look at how school funding works in Texas

A third special session of the Texas Legislature begins today, October 9. Foremost among the items Gov. Greg Abbott has added to the call is legislation for creating a school voucher system offering parents public money for their children to attend private schools.  Critics charge the move will worsen Texas’ already poorly funded schools. But how does school funding in Texas work as it is? Texas Public Radio education reporter Camille Phillips joins Texas Standard from San Antonio with an overview

The terms you’ll hear in the school voucher debate at the Capitol

“Recapture.” “basic allotment.” “educational savings accounts.” With the school funding-focused special session starting today, you’ll be hearing jargon like this a lot. Texas Newsroom state politics reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán joins the Standard with a guide to the terms folks will be talking about this session.

A new study looks at heat disparity in Austin  

Some neighborhoods may face a higher risk of extreme weather due to climate change compared to others in the same city, according to new research. As KUT’s Andrew Weber reports, it highlights longstanding inequities in Texas and across the country.

Why big Texas ranches keep coming up for sale

In recent years, some big tracts of land have changed hands in Texas. They include the 65,000-acre Mesa Vista Ranch in North Texas, which belonged to the late T. Boone Pickens, and the Four Sixes Ranch, purchased by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan.  There are only so many ranches of this magnitude – but somehow, they continue to hit the market at a regular rate. Hall and Hall land company/broker Tyler Jacobs joins the Standard with more.

A look at the global repercussions of Hamas’ and Israel’s fight

Hamas militants in Palestine launched a surprise strike against Israel over the weekend, killing hundreds and taking hostages. Israel has since ordered a complete siege of Gaza as rocket and air attacks collapse scores of buildings, and has began to cut off food, fuel and electricity.  The ripple effects globally are just beginning. Jeremi Suri of the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin joins the Standard with a look at what might be in store.

A new PBS series finds kinship in chefs’ ‘Taco Mafia’

A new PBS documentary series focuses on three Austin restaurants that one might think would be in direct competition with each other. Instead, the chefs at these Mexican eateries have formed, as the show memorializes, a “Taco Mafia.”  Cuantos’ Beto Robledo, Nixta’s Edgar Rico, Descada’s Anthony Pratto’s and “Taco Mafia” series producer Alex Wolff joins the Standard today.

A Fort Worth mom lost her daughter to gun violence — but found a supportive sisterhood 

Not every gun-related death makes the headlines. But those deaths can still leave behind grieving parents.  KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports on one Fort Worth nonprofit creating connections between newly-grieving parents and others who understand what they’re going through.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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