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Flores Absent From Senate District 19 Forum Prior To Special Runoff Election

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
SD 19 Candidate Pete Gallego takes questions from the audience at a forum Thursday night

Early voting in the special runoff election for State Senate District 19 begins Monday. A public forum was held Thursday at Compass Rose Academy for the two candidates. Democrat Pete Gallego was present, while Republican Pete Flores was unable to attend.

The forum held by the Texas Charter Schools Association attracted about 30 people, including constituents, parents, and students. The topic: public education.

Like traditional schools, charters schools also receive public money based on attendance. But charter schools don’t receive local property tax money.

When asked about funding, Gallego said he’d prefer to see a greater amount of overall funding be available first. He wants traditional schools to be fully funded before additional money goes to alternative options like charter schools.

“Nobody gets enough to make a difference because we’re not investing enough in there,” he said. “So for me, I want to make sure whatever assistance we give is meaningful. It has to able to do something. It has to be able to make a difference.”

Reached by phone, Flores said he could not attend the forum because he was already at an event hosted by the Medina County Republican Party.

He said he would support a system where public money follows students to the school of a parent’s choice.

“Parents should have the absolute choice in decisions of your children and that’s something fundamental to us in a constitutional republic,” he said.

Flores added that due to tight scheduling it would be unlikely he and Gallego would share the same stage in a debate or forum before the special election day on Sept. 18.

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules