Texas Judge Rules Against State, Charters in Funding Lawsuit
A Texas lawsuit over school funding was decided by Texas District Court Judge John Dietz yesterday. The judge sided with a school districts who had sued the state after the legislature made $5.4 billion in funding cuts in 2011, saying those cuts created an inequitable system that violated the state's constitution. The judge ruled that the state's funding system is inefficient, unfair, and does not allow for the "general diffusion of knowledge" in K-12 schools. The decision is almost guaranteed to be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, who will have the final say in the case.
However, Dietz sided with the state on another point, rejecting an effort by charter school advocates who had asked him to strike down a state-imposed cap on the number of charters in Texas. More action could be coming on the charter front. As was mentioned here yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, is also pushing to lift the cap on charter schools in Texas, in addition to starting a voucher program that would allow public school dollars to be used to cover families' private school costs.