School districts say finance ruling is first step to winning the battle

Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- In a landmark decision, Judge John Dietz sided with the 600 school districts in Texas, saying the way the state funds public schools violates the constitution.

"Certainly I felt like it was the right decision, based on what's happened to school finance in Texas last several years," Keith Bryant, Bullard ISD Superintendent, said.

Tyler ISD is also among the districts who argue the state isn't adequately funding schools.

"We were cut by 10 million dollars, just in Tyler ISD," Gary Mooring, Superintendent at TISD, said.

At Bullard ISD, the system in place gives less money per student because they are considered "property poor."

"There's no industry here, so our tax base is smaller. Because of that, our property wealth is not that strong," Bryant said.

As the school districts in the lawsuit wait to see if the ruling is upheld, they hope lawmakers are listening.

"They need to come up with a funding plan for public schools that will be long lasting," Mooring said.

The schools say the budget crunch forced them to layoff nearly 12,000 teachers and kept salaries frozen instead of giving out raises to staff.


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