From the Office of the Superintendent
For Immediate Release
Texas Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of School Finance System
Today, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system, which overrules a challenge brought by SISD – along with over 600 school districts across Texas. The decision will drastically affect how adequately schools are funded in the State of Texas.
The decision reverses a 2014 trial court’s ruling that the school finance decision violated the Texas Constitution.
“Although SISD respects the Texas Supreme Court’s authority, we are disappointed the Court reversed the decision by the lower court today,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “This decision sends the signal that while state requirements on school districts continue to grow, the state believes students are funded adequately. This decision was reached while education funding in the state lags far below national averages.”
According to Williams, SISD anticipates the loss of funding beginning in the 2017 - 2018 school year due to elimination of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) funds. The school district has been preparing for this loss of funds but was hopeful for a favorable decision by the Supreme Court, which would have helped offset the loss of ASATR funds.
SISD has been an active participant in the current fight for adequate school finance since it began in 2011, after the Texas State Legislature cut $5.4 billion in public education funding from the state budget, while increasing demands for students to perform more rigorously in the classroom. The lawsuit represents the longest legal battle over school finance in state history.
“Regardless of this ruling, the SISD Board of Trustees and Administration will continue to fight for our students,” Williams said. “We know the needs of our 21st-century learners and will continue to do everything in our power to help our students prepare for their future.”