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AUSTIN (AP) – Bills in the Texas House and Senate would authorize state facilities funding for charter schools.

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Charters are public schools whose students are subject to the same academic accountability standards as those in traditional public schools. But they don’t get state funding to pay for buildings and facility maintenance.

New Braunfels Republican Sen. Donna Campbell is proposing to shrink those funding gaps. She’s also a leading proponent of “school choice” voucher plans seeking to offer public money for students attending private schools.

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Campbell said Tuesday that traditional public schools get an average of $1,400 per student annually for facilities, while charters get none.

Democrat- and Republican-supported House bills also are seeking charter school facilities funding.

Advocates say nearly 250,000 students attend Texas charter schools, and 140,000-plus are on waitlists for them.

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