Texas’ high court upholds school funding formula

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court has declared the state’s school finance system constitutional — a surprise defeat for 600-plus school districts that sued.

Friday’s ruling by the all-Republican court concludes four-plus years of legal battles in Texas’ largest-ever school finance case.

It also means the GOP-controlled Legislature won’t have to devise a new funding plan.

The high court reversed a ruling by a Democratic district judge, who previously ruled funding inadequate and unfairly distributed between school districts in rich and poor areas. Texas uses a “Robin Hood” system in which districts share property tax revenue.

The lawsuit was filed by 600-plus districts in 2011 after the GOP-controlled Legislature cut $5.4 billion in school funding.

The case was the sixth since 1984, and the court had found the system unconstitutional four times.