Judge Issues Findings in Texas School Finance Lawsuit

State District Judge John Dietz today issued a final judgment holding the state’s school finance system unconstitutional on several grounds, and an exhaustive set of findings of fact and conclusions of law articulating the rationale for his ruling.   All the school district plaintiff groups succeeded on their claims. Judge Dietz held that the Calhoun […]

Dewhurst: Put Some Money Aside for School Lawsuits

by Ross Ramsey and Aman Batheja January 10, 2013 The Texas Legislature should prepare for a probable negative judgment in its ongoing school finance lawsuits by socking away money in the next budget to comply with a future court order, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday. “I think you have to hold some of it back […]

Austin superintendent testifies in ongoing school finance trial

Austin school district Superintendent Meria Carstarphen on Monday swatted down arguments from a state lawyer that the district had ample financial wiggle room to deal with its share of the $5.4 billion budget cuts enacted by the Legislature last year.

During testimony in the ongoing school finance trial, Carstarphen said the district has been doing its best given the changing student demographics, including more students with limited English skills, at a time of increasing state academic standards.

Expert: Schools need additional $6 billion a year to meet higher standards

Testimony in school finance trial shows low-income students far behind on new tests.

Texas school districts need an additional $6 billion a year to get students up to the high academic standards lawmakers have put in place, a school finance expert testified on Monday during the ongoing trial.

“I don’t believe that we’re going to close educational gaps and reach … college and career (readiness) without spending additional money,” said Lynn Moak, a consultant who has testified at all six school finance trials in Texas.

Texas school districts spent a total of $43.1 billion for operating cost in 2010-11, the school year before the Legislature enacted $2.5 billion in education cuts. Moak estimated that in addition to restoring the cuts, schools would need an additional $6 billion to boost the performance of low-income students and English-language learners, in particular.

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