Several Valley schools sue state
Thu, 15 Dec 2011 04:37:37 GMT —
Take from the rich and give to the poor.
The theme from Robin Hood is a model for school funding in Texas.
Local property taxes from both wealthy and poor school districts are divided evenly.
"In other words it didn't matter where you were or what zip code you lived in, you all got the same amount of money, said Texas State Representative Rene Oliveira of District 27.
Changes to the model have led to lawsuits against the state.
The most recent is from the Edgewood, McAllen, La Feria and San Benito school districts.
We are in the bottom 12 percent of districts in the state of Texas when it comes to funding, said San Benito CISD Superintendent Antonio Limon.
Limon said in his school district, one student gets about $4,800 in funding, whereas a student in another district could get up to $9,000.
"It's not a level playing field, said Limon.
Players on the opposite end filed a lawsuit too.
Their plaintiffs include Point Isabel.
They argue that even with higher property taxes, they don't get enough money from the state.
"They will probably get less state revenue, and so they're disappointed in that, said Oliveira. You have a wealthy district that got cut as all districts did at least $500 per child that is saying now the funding is inadequate."
A third argument is that so many school districts have been forced to raise their local property taxes, resulting in what some consider a statewide property tax.
The Texas constitution forbids a state property tax.
Oliveira said these lawsuits will likely see their days in court in fall 2012.