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Schools Await Monday Court Decision On Whether Funding System Is Constitutional

Classroom of Wilmer-Hitchins High School students, first day of school

An Austin judge is expected to announce Monday whether Texas’ school finance system is constitutional or must be overhauled.  It’s a decision that could lead to greater funding of public schools.

School districts representing more than three-fourths of Texas public school children have been in trial since October.  Among their many claims is that there’s not enough state funding to ensure students can meet the high achievement standards in place.

Attorney David Thompson represents the largest group of students including those from Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston.

“We believe the system is not adequate especially for our low income kids and English language learners,” Thompson says.

“We don’t have a system that matches up with our expectations.  We do not have a funding system that is actually designed to support getting all kids to the standard we’ve set for all kids,” he said.

Monday morning, before ruling, Judge John Dietz will hear closing arguments in favor of change from six attorneys representing school districts, charter schools and a business group. The attorney general’s office is defending the current system. 

Any losing party is expected to appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.