School Finance Ruling: No Surprise

Predictably, the state’s school finance system was (again) ruled unconstitutional because taxpayers aren’t footing a big enough bill for the size of bureaucracy educrats want. Fortunately, today’s ruling by a liberal Democrat state district judge in Austin isn’t the last word.


Judge John Dietz
District Judge John Dietz, a Travis County Democrat, has ruled on school finance before, always siding with the big-spenders who want more access to your wallet.

Today was no different.

The judge ruled that the state’s school finance system is “unconstitutional” because it is inadequate. In other words: spend more money, levy more taxes. He was not persuaded by evidence showing just how inefficient schools are at spending the money they already get.

The case is going now to the state Supreme Court, where — hopefully — clearer-thinking minds reside.

Texas’ constitution requires that “it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”


Efficient system? Anyone willing to make the argument that it is “efficient” to build jumbotron scoreboards while threatening teachers’ jobs — as districts engaged in this lawsuit have done? Math teachers are constantly threatened with their jobs, while the ranks of administrators swell. We’ve doubled per-pupil spending over the last decade, but average test scores have remained flat. The system is anything but efficient.

Public education is supposed to focused on providing a “general diffusion of knowledge” allowing for “preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.” Instead, it looks like a jobs program for adults.

Leftists and the grow-government crowd are jumping on the ruling — again, predictably — as a point of demagoguery in why the legislature should raid the rainy day fund and raise your taxes. Let them babble.

The real ruling will come from the Supreme Court later this year.