The way Texas funds its public schools went on trial yesterday. States across the nation have seen pupil punishing budget cuts, and like Texas many are going to court to fix what they call an unfair system.
In Texas not all school districts are created equal. Some are property wealthy. Many are property poor. And since taxes pay for everything from chalk to sheetrock — poor school districts are frequently failing at educating their students to the standards set by the state.
“The school districts are being asked to do more with less,” says Tedrah Robertson with the Texas Equity Center. “They’ve had to cut the amount of teachers, cut their support staff.”
On Monday, lawyers for several school districts argued the Texas school funding system is so hopelessly broken that it violates the state constitution.
The Texas Association of Business agrees with them. So does James Golsan of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. But he also wants the judge to demand cost savings for the education system. “We’re not getting the most out of our education dollars right now,” Golsan says.
If the judge finds that the Texas constitution is being violated, it will likely be up to the state legislature to find a solution that will have to please the judge, the school districts and the business community.