Wide range of districts suing state over funding

The state’s inadequate and inequitable school funding system is under attack from a growing number of school districts from across Texas — rich and poor, large and small, alike

A second lawsuit challenging the funding system was filed in Austin on Friday. The plaintiffs in this case are mostly property wealthy school districts, which contend that the current finance system violates the Texas Constitution because it is inadequately funded and, in effect, imposes a statewide property tax.
The first lawsuit, filed earlier this fall, has several hundred plaintiffs, mostly property poor school districts, arguing that the finance system is inequitable with significant differences in property tax wealth per student available to rich and poor districts.

A third lawsuit, to be brought by some of the state’s largest districts, including Houston, Dallas and Austin ISDs, is expected to be filed next week.

The lawsuits follow enactment of the first state public education budget in more than 60 years that fails to pay for anticipated enrollment growth. The new budget cuts $4 billion from state financial obligations to school districts plus another $5.4 billion in public educational grants to districts over the next two years.