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Nearly two-thirds of the school districts in Texas filed a lawsuit against the state formula for funding public schools. A lower court judge ruled that the state’s funding formula was unconstitutional. Hopes were high that the lower court ruling would sustain that decision.
Unfortunately the state Supreme Court sustained the current methodology.
The legislature cut $5.4 Billion out of the schools’ budget in 2011. Many districts have never recovered from those draconian cuts.
“Houston lawyer Mark Trachtenberg, who represented 88 property-wealthy school districts in the case, said the ruling “represents a dark day for Texas school children, especially given the Legislature’s repeated failure to adequately fund our schools.”
“A recent study by the National Education Association found that Texas ranks 38th in the country in per-pupil public-education spending.”
Pastors for Texas Children issued the following statement:
“Pastors for Texas Children Executive Director Rev. Charles Foster Johnson on Today’s Supreme Court Decision
“The Texas Supreme Court’s ruled today that the Texas public school funding system technically meets “minimum constitutional requirements”—a ruling belied by the direct professional experience and expert witness of hundreds of thousands of Texas educators.
“The Court’s conclusion may be based on legal technicality, but the burden of this sophistry will be borne by our 5.3 million schoolchildren.
“We hover near the bottom nationally in monetary support for our schools. It is sinful for a society as rich as Texas—an economic “miracle,” as a recent governor put it—to make our schoolchildren eat the crumbs that fall from our state’s table of bounty.
Our Lord famously said, “To those whom much is given, much is required.” But, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas State Legislature have perversely revised that moral dictum: “To those whom much is given, less is required.”
“Of particular moral offense is the arrogance shown by certain state leaders whose cynical tactics seek to divert our attention away from the grave injustice of inadequate school finance.
“Pastors for Texas Children will not fall for these ridiculous distractions.
80,000 new schoolchildren enter our public school system every year, in classes that are overfilled, with teachers that are underpaid, in schools that are underfunded. Over 60% of our Texas schoolchildren are poor. Our dedicated teachers work long hours at low pay to provide God’s gift of education for them while enduring demoralizing attacks from the very leaders constitutionally charged and Biblically sworn to support them. This is the moral outrage of our day.
“We recommit ourselves to holding our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, 31 State Senators and 150 State Representatives accountable for the “suitable provision of free public schools,” as our own Texas State Constitution mandates, as the American civil tradition establishes, and, most importantly, as the Biblical call to justice unambiguously announces.”