Texas Supreme Court Spares the Rod on School Finance

Opinions from the state’s highest court kept school finance intact, but not without a challenge: “Good enough now … does not mean that the system is good or that it will continue to be enough.”

By Laura RiceMay 13, 2016 11:56 am, ,

It’s here: A long-awaited decision from the Texas Supreme Court on how schools are funded. The plaintiffs are two-thirds of the state’s school districts, charter schools and even business interests, all claiming that the Texas way of financing education is so inefficient as to be unconstitutional.

Now the state’s highest court has handed down its opinion.

Kate McGee, education reporter for KUT in Austin, says the court ruled the state’s school finance system isn’t unconstitutional. The court’s opinions – three concurring opinions with no dissents – say the system “satisfies minimal requirements,” reversing a lower court’s decision that the state’s school finance is so bad as to be illegal.

“They did have strong language about the current system and the need for updates,” she says, “but they said that the court is not where those changes are determined – it’s the Legislature.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How this decision is a narrow one and what the broader implications are for school finance

– What recommendations Chief Justice Don Willett laid out in his opinion

– What the “Robin Hood” effect is and how it affects some school districts’ financing

Post prepared by Hannah McBride.