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Superintendents banking on school finance reform for help

Public school districts compete with charter schools for state funding

SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio superintendents are keeping a close eye on decisions the Texas Legislature makes about school finance reform.

"The (Texas) House is having a productive discussion about what are we going to do. Not just the next two years, but what are we going to do for the next 10 years, and what are we going to do for the next 20 years. That's a conversation that hasn't happened for decades," said Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian Wood.

Wood worries that public schools will lose state student money to charter schools. He said the state needs to keep supporting public schools and resist the effort to give more to charter schools for infrastructure.

"Even if you include what we get from our voter-approved bond proposals, if you include that in the total, those schools are still generating more money per student even without any interest in sinking bond debt-type money," Wood said.

San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez agrees with Wood, saying competing with charter schools is unfair.

"In our schools, we don't turn away children with disabilities. We don't turn away children who are slow learners," he said. "And when I've looked at the data of most of our charter schools, I don't see our most severe children in most of those schools."

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