School Finance

School Finance
11:54 am
Tue June 24, 2014

State Judge Denies Recusal Of Judge In School Finance Trial

The Legislature restored $3.4 billion to the education budget in the 2013 session. Will it be enough to sway Judge Dietz in his final decision?
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

San Antonio Judge David Peeples has denied the attorney general's office motion to recuse Travis County District Judge John Dietz from the Texas school finance trial.   

Much of Attorney General Greg Abbott's argument had to do with private email conversations between Dietz and attorneys representing the school districts about merits of the case.

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School Finance
1:46 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Decision Expected Today In School Finance Judge Recusal Hearing

The Save Texas Schools rally outside the state capital in 2011, when $5.4 billion was cut from the education budget.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Attorneys in the school finance trial spent six hours arguing the intent of private emails at the presiding judge’s recusal hearing on Friday. The attorney general’s office is arguing that emails exchanged by the prosecution and Travis County Judge John Dietz show the judge is biased and should be removed from the historic case.

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School Finance
2:04 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Abbott Asks School Finance Judge To Recuse Himself From Case

The Save Texas Schools rally at the state capitol in 2011, the year that $5.4 billion was cut from education.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the Travis County judge overseeing the lawsuit against the state’s school finance system to recuse himself from the case. The problem stems from a series of emails between the judge and attorneys representing the school districts.

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Texas Public Schools
12:18 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Education Group Urges House Panel To Create Achievement District For Low-Rated Schools

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The Texas House Committee on Public Education is looking at what can be done to improve low-rated school campuses.  

Texans for Education Reform, an education advocacy group that is spending heavily in 2014, told the committee on Tuesday that lawmakers need to create a special state district for school campuses are chronically underperforming; an achievement school district.

“We have to think about morally responsible timelines for intervention for low-performing schools,” said Julie Linn, executive director for Texans for Education Reform.

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Education
2:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Davis Calls On Abbott To Settle School Finance Lawsuit

Likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis speaks in front of Austin Community College's Rio Grande Campus on the Texas school finance lawsuit.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, is calling on Attorney General Greg Abbott to come to the table and reach a settlement agreement in legal case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system.

As Travis County District Judge John Deitz weighs hundreds of pieces of evidence in the lawsuit, Davis called on Abbott, who is representing the state in the case and is Davis' likely Republican opponent in the governor's race, to make sure Texas school districts are adequately funded.

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Education
11:51 am
Mon February 10, 2014

School Finance Trial Wraps Up In Case Likely Headed To State Supreme Court

Flickr user SalFalko cc

Travis County District Judge John Dietz has finished hearing closing arguments in the Texas school finance lawsuit and now attorneys from both sides await a decision. Dietz is taking his time to formulate an opinion because the case will likely go to the Texas Supreme Court.

"I think the evidence was pretty compelling that restoring some of the money just didn’t fix all the problems," said Houston attorney David Thompson, who represents a large group of schools in the lawsuit.

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Texas Public Schools
5:03 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

SBOE Member Says He Hopes His Side Loses School Finance Trial

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff.
State of Texas

Thomas Ratliff, a Republican seated on the State Board of Education, which is one of the defendants in the Texas school finance trial, says he hopes his side loses in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of how schools are funded in the state.

"I think we go back to the drawing board and put the school finance system back together without all the bubble gum and bailing wire we’ve added to it," Ratliff said. "The system is so out of whack that we’ve got A, big disparities; B, inefficient distribution system; and an inadequate funding level."

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Texas Public Schools
10:35 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Release Of End-Of-Course Exam Results Turn Up Heat In School Finance Trial

Texas Education Agency

According to the Texas Education Agency, nearly a quarter of all high school juniors have fell short of end-of-course graduation requirements -- those numbers were what attorneys led with on day two of the Texas school finance trial.

According to the TEA, over 309,000 students met the necessary requirements and passed a set of end-of-course exams in order to graduate in 2015, which works out to about 76 percent of all Texas high school juniors.

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Texas Public Schools
11:25 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Judge In Texas School Finance Trial Reopens Case

Travis County District Judge John Dietz (seated in right corner).
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Nearly a year ago Travis County District Judge John Dietz ruled that the system used to fund schools in Texas was unconstitutional, but didn’t reduce that order to writing. The same trial is once again underway but this time with different evidence to consider.

Dietz gave the Texas Legislature another chance to replace the $5.4 billion that was cut from public education funding in the 2011 session.

"It has been the consistent desire of this court to present the most up to date data to the Texas Supreme Court for their consideration," Dietz said.

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The Source - January 21, 2013
11:45 am
Tue January 21, 2014

The Source: Texas School Funding Back In Court | Cedar, A Most Hated Tree

Ryan Poppe TPR News

In the first segment:

The fight over public school funding continues with another installment of Judge John Dietz’s courtroom.  In February of last year he ruled that the state funding levels were unconstitutional.

In the last legislative session the state restored $3.4 billion of the more than $5 billion they cut the previous session, but was it enough? And with the current political backdrop will education be in the spotlight for the remaining months? Will it be an effective and compelling issue for Texas voters?

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