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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Texas school finance laws face another legal challenge



As Florida's education funding lawsuit moves toward trial, it's instructive to note that the way states pay for education is often filled with hurdles and challenges.

Texas, for instance, has been battling over its funding system for decades. In the Lone Star State, school districts collect property taxes and send the money to Austin, where it is redistributed. The property wealthy districts help support the property poor ones in this "Robin Hood" system.

The districts, rich and poor, are challenging this method for the sixth time since 1984 amid big cuts in state funding, which is supported by a portion of the state sales tax, the AP reports. Charter schools have joined the fight, seeking to get a larger chunk of the money for their operations, as well.

The Texas constitution calls for an "efficient system of public free schools." The state Legislature's efforts to provide a funding mechanism to meet that mandate have fallen short several times in the Texas Supreme Court.

One of Florida's State Board of Education members has called the challenge to our state's funding an "exercise in futility." Moreso than what's happening in Texas?

[Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 6:28am]


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