Texas Supreme Court ruling shocks school districts, CCISD included
600 school districts sued the state after it cut $5.4 billion from public education in 2011.
CORPUS CHRISTI -
A crushing defeat for hundreds of Texas school districts today, including CCISD.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled the state's school finance system is constitutional.
It means a lawsuit challenging that system failed.
Lower courts had previously declared the system unconstitutional.
The supreme court agrees the system is flawed, but satisfies the minimum constitutional requirements for public education.
This marks an end to a five year legal battle.
600 school districts, including CCISD, sued the state over an education funding system they call unfair. They filed in 2011, after the state cut $5.4 billion from public education.
"The 600 school districts that sued lost... but it's a complex system and we're always looking for better ways to improve it," Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says.
Among the lawsuit's complaints, the aforementioned cuts, and the alleged inequity of the "Robin Hood" style of funding, where school districts share property tax revenue.
Some say poorer districts don't get a big enough cut.
John Marez is on CCISD's school board.
"Yeah we fit more in the middle. I mean, we definitely, the funding, we feel, could be better spread out. That would help out all the districts. You know, we don't receive as, say, other districts do," he says.
Local lawmakers are sounding off too.
State Senator Chuy Hinojosa says he's "disappointed" with today's ruling.
State Rep. Abel Herrero is calling on the legislature for action.
A sentiment echoed by local teacher's unions, like the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
Jackie Hannebaum is the local president.
"The fact that a minimum requirement is good enough for the students of the Texas public schools is just not right," she says.