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Tue February 5, 2013
Van de Putte Says Lawmakers Must Act Now To Fix School Funding
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said the recent court ruling declaring Texas school funding unconstitutional is a good indication that lawmakers should take action to fix the problem.
Monday’s ruling marks the second time that State District Judge John Dietz has ruled the Texas school finance system unconstitutional, and is the sixth time such a case has been brought to court in Texas since 1984.
Van de Putte said the legislature does not need to wait for a Supreme Court decision to move forward in its funding plans.
"We can act, and we should act now. We know that we have $8 billion in the kitty, not just the Rainy Day Fund, but leftover because we cut too much. We can do this. All it takes is the will and the understanding that this is our most important function; and that’s public education," she said.
In his ruling, the judge said many districts are forced to levy local taxes at their maximum available rates, which effectively creates an unconstitutional statewide property tax.