Texas Supreme Court rules school finance system is constitutional

by Mike Ward and Andrea Zelinski  |  published on May 13, 2016

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday found the state’s latest attempt to fix the way it funds public schools constitutional, dealing a blow to hundreds of school districts that had hoped the court would pressure the Legislature into make further changes.

Although high court declined to force lawmakers into action, it urged the Legislature to proactively revisit state’s education laws on its own.

“Our Byzantine school funding ‘system’ is undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement. But it satisfies minimum constitutional requirements,” read the ruling that affirmed in part and reversed in part the trial court’s initial ruling.

“Accordingly, we decline to usurp legislative authority by issuing reform diktats from on high, supplanting lawmakers’ policy wisdom with our own,” read the opinion.

Plaintiffs in the case had been optimistic the ruling would go the other way.

  • jack


  • RadioFreeKansas

    We’ve got the same problem in Kansas (or Brownbackistan as it’s known here.) In other words: they chickened out; probably in the face of threats from far-right tea partyers who want the court to be less independent and adhere to what “we” want them to do, weather it’s constitutional or not. As I’ve observed the Texas state school board from afar their idea of an education seems to be: “You will learn only what we want you to learn, and you will like it!”

  • 1947goldenjet

    A model for the US Supreme Court to follow. Refusal to legislate from the bench.

    • I Seigel

      So why expect the Supreme Court to nullify Obamacare? A law Congress passed? You wouldn’t want the Supreme Court to undo something Congress legislated, now would you? Or are they only an “activist court” when they DON’T do something you want them to do?

      • 1947goldenjet

        Not all laws that are passed by the legislature are constitutionally valid. The Supreme Court’s task is to determine the validity of passed laws that are then challenged. Often of late, they have rendered decisions that exceed the scope of the lawsuit before them.

        • I Seigel

          So maybe we need people in Congress who know something about the law, civics, and government. Not plumbers, ophthalmologists, witches, auctioneers and other “outsiders”. That would help Congress pass laws that are constitutionally valid in the first place.

          • 1947goldenjet

            My only argument to that is this, my suspicion is that the problem may be that there are too many lawyers in congress. The Congressional Research Bureau says that 60 of 100 senators are lawyers and 170 members of Congress are lawyers. Just because they have a law degree doesn’t mean that they are any good at creating laws.

          • Tootsie

            Amen on that statement

          • I Seigel

            That’s apparently true!

  • I Seigel

    Isn’t it nice to know that the schoolchildren of Texas are being served by the “minimum constitutional requirements”? Great job, Texas Legislature!!

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