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What's next for Texas schools in the funding war?

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 08:13:34 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 05 2013 09:26:24 PM CST
ABILENE, TX -

After the big ruling in the Texas school district finance lawsuit was passed down in what's next?

District Judge John Dietz declared the formula the state uses to fund the system is unconstitutional.

Abilene ISD has lost over $8 million dollars due to budget cuts since the last legislative meeting in 2011.

Essentially lawmakers cut school funding by $5.4 billion dollars and now the legislature may have to pay this money back, to the tune of $1.75 billion dollars.

As the lawsuit wrapped up, the house proposed a budget that covers the growth of almost 85,000 students per year, but the proposal won't cover the cuts from 2011.

The judge ruled in three major areas: running the system like a property tax, raising the testing standards but not providing adequate money to fund the need, and lastly, it's arbitrary in nature.

Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns said this ruling has no affect on AISD right now.

"There's nothing that's been created yet to impact Abilene or any other school district for that matter," said Burns. "There's just been a charge from a judge that communicates to the state that system is system flawed and failed."

In the meantime, Dr. Burns said the district will wait and prepare for the assumed appeal which state lawmakers expect in about a year.

"I hope that their are legislators that take this ball and run with it and and get this thing fixed, hopefully for the long haul," said Burns.