Monday, September 12, 2005

School Finance Update

Ruling coming soon:
Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson said he expects the court to issue a ruling in a school funding case within two weeks.

"I can't say it will be definitive," Jefferson said in the online edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram. "There will be a decision from the court, and the Legislature will do what it does."

The state's high court took on the issue when the state appealed a lower court ruling that said the method Texas uses to pay for public education is unconstitutional.

State District Judge John Dietz ruled the system unconstitutional and set an Oct. 1 deadline for the state to overhaul the system.

Jefferson said the Supreme Court will work to meet that deadline.

In the last three years, the Legislature has failed five times to find a solution, one that would replace local property taxes with another form of revenue, probably from new taxes.

The last special session ended in failure Aug. 19, and it is widely expected that Gov. Rick Perry will call lawmakers back to try it again once the state has received guidance from the court.
The highlighted paragraph above is quite interesting. I translate that to mean that they are going to hand down a very murky ruling - they're punting it back to the lege - that will allow the legislature and everyone else to interpret it however they want. In other words we are right back wehre we started. Pink Dome says there is another special session coming in October.


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