After this morning’s ruling by the Texas State Supreme Court that the current school funding mechanism is constitutional, El Paso-area representatives and districts were quick to respond.
“Our Byzantine school funding ‘system’ is undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement. But it satisfies minimum constitutional requirements,” Justice Don Willett wrote in the court’s 100-page opinion, which asserted that the court’s “lenient standard of review in this policy-laden area counsels modesty.”
Below are responses, in their entirety:
Texas State Rep Joe Moody:
It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court believes that the current inequities that exist within the school finance system are constitutional. We hope that the Court’s advice to the Legislature to revamp the funding system is heeded with equity and adequacy in mind. The Socorro Independent School District, while disappointed, will move forward and continue to provide a world-class education to all students and ensure they are prepared to have a successful future in college, careers and life.
State Senator Joe Rodriguez
At a time when some school districts can pour tens of millions of dollars into football stadiums when other districts struggle to provide basic instructional materials, it’s clear the school finance system does not provide for equitable and efficient distribution of knowledge. The court has abdicated its role in school finance litigation, reversing decades of precedent to defer to the Legislature despite overwhelming evidence of poor achievement including test scores, dropout rates, and graduation rates, especially as it relates to English Language and Economically Disadvantaged students.
Now that the issue is back to the Legislature, it’s incumbent on the people of Texas to join the fight for their future, which depends on how well we prepare the next generation. Public schools have been a hallmark of American greatness for a century, and they will be the source of our future success or failure.