Tribpedia: School Finance

School finance describes the method in which Texas public schools are funded. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state and local revenue.

The local source of operating revenue for school districts is the property tax. This is what leads to wide disparities in education spending, as some districts with expensive commercial property have ...

Texplainer: What's State's Strategy in School Finance Case?

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Hey, Texplainer: I know the state plans to appeal a judge's recent decision that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional. But what will the state's defense be moving forward?

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

In School Finance Battle, Legal Fees Accumulate

If the Texas school districts that are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system ultimately prevail in their lawsuit, a result could be billions of dollars in extra funding from the state’s coffers for public education. And more than $8.5 million would also go from the state to the four teams of lawyers representing them. 

State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.
State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.

Van de Putte Hits Patrick on School Finance Votes

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said Wednesday that her GOP opponent, Dan Patrick, was “rewriting history” by taking credit for the restoration of some education funding cuts. Patrick's campaign hit back at the criticism.

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

Analysis: Ruling Provides Candidates a Talking Point

As candidates in the general election focus on making themselves known to voters, the latest school finance ruling provides their clearest marching orders yet. They have to figure out the balance between property taxes voters do not like and the public education system they demand. 

Analysis: Cutting a Tax the State Does Not Levy

The state of Texas does not levy a property tax, but state lawmakers would like to lower property tax bills anyway — a quest that could take them into school finance or into relief for some taxpayers at the expense of others. Increasing tax exemptions for homeowners, for instance, could increase tax bills paid by business property owners.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Texas School Finance Trial Enters Phase Two

Lawyers representing nearly two-thirds of Texas school districts in a lawsuit against the state argued Tuesday that not only was a 2013 legislative funding boost short term, but that other changes had increased costs for schools.

 

Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.
Bayless Elementary teacher Holly Guillmen identifies and explains the use of the contents of the Waterwise home water conservation kit provided to students by the High Plains Underground Water District in Lubbock, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012.

Polling Center: Education Could Test Both Parties

Education could be a tricky issue for gubernatorial candidates in 2014, with both the Democratic and Republican nominee having to navigate through unexpected cross-currents among their own constituencies.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Texas School Finance Trial Goes for Round Two

After hearing brief arguments on whether to reopen evidence in the school finance case because of laws passed during the legislative session, state district court Judge John Dietz announced Wednesday that a new, six-week trial will begin in January.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Lawyers Ask to Reopen Evidence in School Finance Trial

State District Court Judge John Dietz will hear new evidence the sweeping school finance trial that concluded in February to consider the effects of changes made during the recent legislative session. 

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

Whatever Became of That School Finance Ruling?

Texas Weekly

State District Court Judge John Dietz said in February that a detailed ruling on the state's school finance system would be released by mid-March. It’s now June, and there is still no final decision in the sweeping lawsuit involving more than two-thirds of Texas school districts that arose after the Legislature eliminated roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011.

TribLive: A Conversation About School Finance

On April 19, I talked with former House Public Education Committee chairmen Rob Eissler and Kent Grusendorf, former vice chairman Scott Hochberg and attorney David Thompson about the perennially unresolved question of how the state should fund public education. Our conversation was co-presented by the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Handicapping the High Court on School Finance

Texas Weekly

When the Texas Supreme Court last considered school finance system in 2005, it upheld one of the trial court's findings and overturned another in a 7-to-1 decision. Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit hope what the court originally saw as an impending constitutional violation has turned into a real one.