ETX districts weigh in after judge rules school funding system i - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX districts weigh in after judge rules school funding system is unconstitutional


More than 600 school districts in Texas were pleased to hear a judge rule in their favor,  stating the state's school funding system is unconstitutional.

While school administrators say this is a step in the right direction, many districts realize the road to a new funding system could be a long one.

Distircts in East Texas say they're very pleased, but they're also trying not to jump the gun, because the state will likely appeal this ruling. Therefore, the lawsuit could drag out for quite some time before the legislature would have to make changes.

The main argument many districts are making is that the current formula used to disperse state funds to districts gives some an unfair advantage over others. In return, that impacts resources for students and salaries for employees.

"We want to make sure that we keep and retain the best professionals we have in the business here in Tyler ISD, as well as make sure the class sizes don't get too large and that we can do a better job of one-on-one with the students. The more cuts that you have, and the larger classes you have, that makes a difference on the programs and the product," says Tyler ISD Superintendent Gary Mooring.

"This is the first step of going through the process. But we do not feel like it's the court's decision to fund the schools. That's the legislation's responsibility. We hope the legislature will start working on the funding problem now instead of waiting on appeals or another two years for the next legislative session," says Jody Clements, Assistant Superintendent at Longview ISD.

Lufkin ISD Superintendent Roy Knight says the ruling is very exciting for their district which hopes to receive extra funding from the state in the future.

Knight says LISD receives just over $4,500  per student, which is below average. He adds that their district has not received extra funding since 2006.

The judge is expected to release a more detailed opinion on his ruling in the coming weeks.

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