Judge declares public school financing system unconstitutional

Friday, August 29, 2014

It’s the ruling heard across the state that will affect millions of schoolchildren.

State district Judge John Dietz of Austin ruled Thursday the state’s funding of public schools is unconstitutional. In his ruling, the judge wrote, “The court finds that the Texas school finance system effectively imposes a state property tax in violation of the Texas Constitution because school districts do not have meaningful discretion over the levy, assessment and disbursement of local property taxes. The court further finds that the legsilature has failed to meet its obligational duty to suitably provide for Texas public schools because the school finance system is structured, operated, and funded so that it cannot provide a constitutional adequate education for all Texas school children.” He continued, “the school finance system is financially inefficient because all Texas students do not have substantially equal access to the educational funds…”

In the long-term, the judge’s ruling could signal a drastic increase in state funding in public schools. In the short term though, no changes may happen at all.

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