Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What Happened To The School Finance Ruling?

In the middle of September we were promised a ruling in two weeks on school finance by the Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. Remember this? School finance court ruling expected soon:
09/12/05

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

"I can't say it will be definitive," Justice Jefferson said in Saturday's online edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram. "There will be a decision from the court, and the Legislature will do what it does."
"..the Legislature will do what it does"? So they will meet for 140 or 30 days and not come to an agreement, is that what he means? But I digress. That was September 12th and a ruling was eminent. There were rumors of an October session. So what in the world changed? Two hurricanes? John Sharp? When that announcement was made we were told again that a ruling was on its way:
09/21/05

Lawmakers are awaiting a court ruling on a lawsuit brought by hundreds of Texas school districts challenging the way the state pays for public schools. The measure is on appeal before the Texas Supreme Court. A decision is expected within the next few weeks.
But now the October 1st deadline has come and gone and we find out it wasn't a deadline to begin with, Schools await high court's fund ruling:
10/05/05

A court-mandated deadline for the Texas Legislature to overhaul the state's school funding system has come and gone, but that doesn't mean local districts are likely to go bankrupt.

School districts received their monthly allotment from the state Sept. 25, and that should see them through the end of this month, DeEtta Culbertson, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said Tuesday.

She said districts will continue receiving aid from the state because the court order that mandated Saturday's deadline to fix the way Texas funds its public schools is on appeal.

"When we filed the appeal, it essentially stayed the decision," Culbertson said.
It was expected last Friday and now who knows:
There was widespread speculation among school districts that a ruling would come last Friday, but now the time is anyone's guess.

"Our biggest question now is, will we see a decision before the primary election (on March 7)," said North East School District Superintendent Richard Middleton. "We were hoping for a definitive judgment before the deadline."
Interesting. I wonder if politics is involved in this? Have they pushed the decision back until after the primaries? No ruling before the primaries means no session and no way for those that went against the party rulers to atone for what they did. It's hard to tell what's going on here but one thing is for sure, we were told on September 12th by the Chief Justice he expected a ruling in two weeks and that didn't happen.

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