FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2014
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Today (Thursday), Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and member of the Senate Committee on Finance, releases the following statement responding to Austin state district court Judge John Dietz's updated school finance ruling, in which he ruled that the state's public school finance system is unconstitutionally inadequate for students and districts:
"I am grateful for the release of today's ruling. This long-anticipated decision comes as no surprise to those of us in the legislature who have for years fought to ensure our state faces its major challenges in ensuring public schools are adequately and equitably funded. In 2011, I strongly opposed an appropriations cut in the billions of dollars from public education, resulting in devastating consequences to schools in my Senate district. While I was happy to see some of those funds restored last legislative session, the fact remains that our school finance system is unacceptably broken.
"Today's ruling means the school funding issue must return to the Legislature. We must seize this opportunity to revise the entire school finance system, including our antiquated calculations for weighted per-pupil funding, especially for the economically disadvantaged students who now comprise the majority of Texas school children. We must also thoughtfully address disparities in revenue raising for public education. It is absolutely vital to ensure property-poor school districts are able to raise similar revenue for similar effort, and are not forced to raise taxes up to the limit to keep pace with property wealthy districts. The promise of American education is that every child, regardless of where they come from, can get the same opportunity to achieve personal success. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we keep that promise."