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A cheat sheet for the school finance lawsuits

The Trib has a useful guide to the six (so far!) lawsuits that have been filed over school finance.

Texas’ latest round of school finance litigation adds some new players to the courtroom, with interests that are more varied than ever before. We’ve created a cheat sheet to help you keep all six lawsuits — and the plaintiffs’ basic arguments — straight.

Charter schools and a newly formed organization pushing for more school choice are both suing the state for the first time. Four different groups of school districts, by now veterans in the school finance wars, are returning once again.

A judge has already consolidated these five lawsuits into one trial, and will likely do the same with the latest claim, filed by the Texas Charter School Association. In many instances, the plaintiffs’ arguments will overlap, but in some, their interests will conflict — that’s why there are so many different parties.

(And note that at least one party doesn’t agree their cases should all be heard at once. MALDEF has filed a petition to dismiss the complaint from Texans For Real Efficiency and Equity in Education, saying that group should be making their argument to the Legislature, not the courts.)

The main thing to know as far as I’m concerned is that the TREE lawsuit is the skunk at the garden party. It’s the one of these things that isn’t like the others. I think MALDEF’s petition has a lot of merit, and I hope the judge looks favorably on it. Anyway, you can see all of the plaintiff’s complaints as well as a chart showing who’s alleging what and a summary of the key issues. Check it out.

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