In 2006, the Texas Legislature created a K-12 public school funding system that was perpetually underfunded. The underfunding can be referred to as a structural deficit – a planned gap where there will never be enough funding to cover expenditures. [For additional reading on structural deficit, please see the blog, “A Budgetary Frankenstein“.]
Since that time, the Legislature has not fixed or addressed the structural deficit in funding K-12 public schools.
That may change.
During the last legislative session, Mr. David Thomspon, a well-known school finance litigator of the law firm Thompson & Horton, LLP, received a message from a state representative. The message stated, “Please sue us soon.”
State representative Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) stated, “It’s not a positive that we have to resort to litigation. But that’s usually how legislatures work,” (Austin American-Statesman, Oct. 9, 2011).
It isn’t positive, but a school finance lawsuit seems necessary.
Even though a school finance lawsuit is necessary, there is a risk … a huge risk. Think about this: the present funding system came in response to the last school finance lawsuit.
Now that is a scary thought.
[Note: This is the first of a three part series.]