The Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week that Texas’ school funding system is constitutional after years of legal battles over the controversial 2011 budget cuts. Two-thirds of state school districts sued the state over these cuts, arguing that this gave them inadequate funding.
The court suggested that how Texas funds schools needs to be updated immediately, but that it is technically constitutional. In an official statement, the nine justices described the system as being “ill-suited for 21st century Texas.”
This comes after Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in favor of the school districts in 2014, ruling that the funding system was unconstitutional. This case represents the seventh time the constitutionality of the Texas school finance system has been debated in a legal battle since the 80’s and the second time the Texas Supreme Court ruled it constitutional.
Earlier this year, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered their legislature to craft a “constitutionally valid school finance system” before the beginning of this next school year. The Texas Supreme Court opted to not intervene, adding that it is not their “judicial responsibility” to “second-guess and micromanage Texas education policy.”
Chamber CEO and President Richard Perez responded to this news by saying, “Your Chamber is committed to working with our state legislators in order to explore all alternatives at our disposal to provide the necessary financial resources for our public schools to ensure that every student has the same opportunity to a robust and adequate education.”
“Although we are disappointed with the high court’s ruling,” Perez added, “we respect the process and the decision that has been rendered by the Court.”