Superintendents from several low and medium-wealth school districts appear ready to sue the state over its school finance system as early as October. Wayne Pierce, executive director the Equity Center – a group representing 690 districts – said Wednesday that superintendents and other local leaders decided at a meeting in Austin they would seek approval to join a lawsuit challenging the finance system this fall. Legislative leaders have been expecting a suit, particularly after lawmakers slashed funding for schools by $2 billion a year in their regular session this year.
“A good number of those attending the meeting were ready to go back and present it to their school boards, to see if there is support for joining the lawsuit,” Pierce said. “We do believe a legal challenge is imminent and we’re beginning to put things together in preparation for a lawsuit.” Among the problems with the funding system that will be raised in the suit, he said, are the disparities that allow some districts to receive several thousand dollars more per student each year than other districts – a clear violation of the Texas Constitution.
It has always taken a court order for the Lege to do something about school finance. The only question is whether the next court order will get them to do something good. Electing some better legislators in the meantime would be a wise idea.