A state district judge agreed Monday with HISD and several other school districts that joined together to challenge the Texas school finance system as unconstitutional.
The Court found that the current funding system does not:
- adequately or suitably provide the resources necessary to give all students a real opportunity to graduate from high school ready for college or career;
- provide equitable funding to bring all Texas school districts up to the funding levels necessary to meet our high standards; or
- provide local school districts and communities with meaningful discretion to provide local supplementation or enrichment above state requirements.
Texas school districts filed the lawsuit following the Texas Legislature’s decision in 2011 to slash $5.4 billion from K-12 education funding. Houston schools have lost more than $120 million in state funding over the past two years, resulting in teacher layoffs and larger class sizes. The cuts came at a time when Texas was implementing a tougher new school accountability system that holds schools accountable for preparing all students to graduate prepared for college and the workplace.
HISD Board of Education President Anna Eastman said the ruling recognizes the importance of providing every teacher with the resources they need to prepare students for success.
“It is time for the Texas Legislature to restore the funding cuts and come up with a fair public school finance system that is easy to understand and gives kids’ schools the money they need to provide the education they deserve,” Eastman said. “It’s going to take courage and action on their part. We want to be part of that conversation and make sure we come up with a system that’s better than what we have now.”