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New Texas School Finance Litigation Archive

The LRL has launched the "Texas School Finance Litigation Archive," a new research tool that provides access to select court documents from school finance litigation in Texas dating back to the 1970s. The site is free and available to the public, and is intended to familiarize users with the history of school finance litigation in Texas, and provide them with a broad range of resources on the subject.
The earliest court documents featured on the site are from the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez, a school finance lawsuit that originated in Texas.  The case is considered to be the first school finance lawsuit in Texas, and was followed by several subsequent lawsuits. Users can view the docket for the case at the federal district court level, and read the opinions from both the federal district court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to San Antonio v. Rodriquez documents, users will also find court documents from  Edgewood I and II, West Orange-Cove I and II, and the recent school finance case, Williams v. Texas Taxpayers & Student Fairness Coalition, et al. Of special note are trial transcripts from Edgewood I, a case that has been included in the Travis County Historical Records project because of its historical significance.
In addition to court records, the page also provides a timeline of key court rulings, as well as legislative reports and a comprehensive bibliography on various aspects of school finance.
The project was made possible by the participation of a number of courts and libraries, including:
  • National Archives, Fort Worth, Texas and Washington, D.C.
  • Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Texas State Law Library
  • Texas State Library and Archives Commission
  • Texas Taxpayers and Research Association
  • Texas Third Court of Appeals
  • Travis County Archives
  • Travis County District Clerk's Office
  • Travis County Law Library
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Library for the 5th Circuit, New Orleans, LA
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio
Image by StockSnap user Krzysztof Puszczynski.

Texas School Finance Lawsuit

The Texas Supreme Court has set a September 1, 2015 hearing date for the Texas school finance case. Below are resources related to the case, as well as other helpful information regarding school finance in Texas.
The case:
By: Travis County District Court, 200th Judicial District
Related resources:
School finance manuals Texas Education Agency
Includes School Finance 101, an overview of public school funding in Texas.
An introduction to school finance in Texas (Revised June 2014) Texas Taxpayers and Research Association
School finance National Conference of State Legislatures
Information on state role in funding education, education finance litigation, and trends in education funding.
Tribpedia: school finance The Texas Tribune
"Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code makes provisions for certain school districts to share their local tax revenue with other school districts." 
Cover image by flickr user Province of British Columbia.

School Finance in Texas

School finance is a topic of heavy discussion this session as state lawmakers debate how to fund public education in the face of a budget shortfall.  In this blog post, we've compiled a list of online resources that provide basic overviews of the school finance system in Texas.

School Finance 101: Funding of Texas Public Schools (Texas Education Agency, January 2011)

An Introduction to School Finance in Texas (Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, January 2012)

Texas Tribune's School Finance Primer (March 31, 2011)

School Daze (Texas Observer, March 30, 2011)

Texas Education Agency's page on School Finance

Resources for the current Texas School Finance system (Texas Association of School Boards)

Tracking the Education Dollar (Texas Association of School Boards, February 2011)

Education Finance (National Conference of State Legislatures),64,221#221

Funding for public education comes from a combination of state, local and federal revenue.  In the General Appropriations Act, state funding for public education is found in Article III, where it is nearly all appropriated to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).  Article III public education funding also is appropriated to the State Board for Educator Certification, the Texas School for the Deaf, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Teacher Retirement System.

See a discussion of proposed Article III public education funding (in CSHB 1):
CSHB 1: The House Appropriation Committee's proposed budget for Fiscal 2012-2013 (see Art. III: Public Education) :

For TEA operating budgets, legislative appropriations requests, and other funding information, see: