Watching for Legislative Action

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This page has been created to help everyone monitor what is happening in Austin. There were three big occurrences recently that impact McAllen ISD, particularly as we are one of 600 school districts that filed suit against Texas regarding its education funding system.

  1. In August of 2014, District Judge John Dietz in Austin ruled that the state’s funding system is unconstitutional. Districts like McAllen ISD are unfairly receiving considerably less funding per student than higher wealth districts. He found that the school finance system has property-poor districts taxing on average 10 cents higher than wealthy districts but receiving about $1,000 less per child. The Court ordered Texas to correct the violation before July 2015 or else face an injunction enjoining the school finance system.
  1. On Friday, January 23, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. It established its own timeline, which may take the matter well into 2016.
  1. On January 13, 2015, the 84th Texas Legislative Session convened. During this session, we believe it is imperative that we track legislative bills that may attempt to address this same issue.

It is our aim to help employees and parents stay informed about the issues impacting our district and track bills that are introduced. In addition, we have brought together a number of resources to help accomplish this, including finance information that may help one articulate letters to our elected representatives.

 

JudgeJudge’s Ruling

Original story, Aug. 28, 2014:

Nearly three years after more than 600 Texas school districts filed litigation challenging the state’s school finance system, a Travis County district judge has ruled in their favor.

In an almost 400-page opinion released Thursday, District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin said that the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional not only because of inadequate funding and flaws in the way it distributes money to districts, but also because it imposes a de facto state property tax. Certain to be appealed by the state, the lawsuit that arose after lawmakers cut roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011 will now continue to the Texas Supreme Court. Read more.

Recent Press

Texas Supreme Court to hear public school finance case
Education Chairman Calls for School Finance Discussion

2015 Legislative Session Resources & Links

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