Judge finds Texas school funding unconstitutional

Texas Attorney General expected to appeal


Travis County Judge John Dietz ruled Monday that the state's method for funding public education violates the Texas Constitution.

"In that it fails to provide adequately equal access to revenues necessary to provide for the general diffusion of knowledge," said Dietz, as he handed down the ruling.  

It's a win for more than 600 school districts who petitioned the court after the state cut $5.4 billion in school funding in 2011.

That's a pinch the North East ISD has certainly felt after it lost $70 million over the last two years.

"There comes a point when instruction in the classroom is going to be affected, and that's something that we hope the result of this lawsuit will correct," said NEISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Gottardy.

Numerous lawmakers and school advocacy groups applaud the ruling, but hope the state will act sooner rather than later.

The volunteer coalition Save Texas Schools released a statement Monday that read, in part, "our kids enrolled now will never get this year back and we need to act quickly to limit the damage done by the unconstitutional cuts."

The state plans to appeal Monday's decision to the Texas supreme court.

But that's time the Texas State Teachers Association believes students don't have.

The group released its own statement Monday saying, "Children who fall behind or drop out will pay a real price when their education is put on hold for another year."

"Obviously it is time for the state legislature to go back to Austin and figure out a way to adequately fund public education," said Gottardy.

For a list of recent stories Myra Arthur has done, click here.

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