AISD Reacts to School Funding Ruling

AISD Reacts to School Funding Ruling

Current System Ruled Unconstitutional
    The battle over school funding in Texas isn't over yet.

    Despite Thursday's ruling that the state's school funding system is unconstitutional, the Texas Supreme Court will make the ultimate decision.
       
    In the meantime, lawmakers will go back to the drawing board to fix the broken system.

    Lawsuits over school funding have been filed on a regular basis in Texas since 1984.
    
    In this case, the judge ruled the funding system is essentially a state tax.  And, as you know in Texas, that's not allowed.

    The Amarillo Independent School District (AISD) was among hundreds in the state to sue this time.
    
    The major sticking point is how the money is doled-out to individual districts.
       
    In Amarillo for instance, the district receives about $5,600/student from the state.  But, some districts will receive as much as $16,000/student.

    AISD board president John Ben Blanchard says that's not fair to the economically disadvantaged students.

    "We're a poor school district.  So, we need the funding that's on the same par and on the same basis with other districts so we can provide all of our children with a fair opportunity to succeed."  Blanchard said.

    The case will eventually go to the state supreme court for a final ruling.

    But, no matter how the court rules, the same funding system is in place at least until 2017.

    State senator Kel Seliger says that's when the current system will be phased-out.

    The problem is coming up with a long term fix.  Something lawmakers expect to take-up when they return to Austin in January.

    AISD paid $36,000 to join one of the four lawsuits against the state.  Money they will get back since they won.

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