This is the first time in the history of the Texas charter movement for charter families to claim the funding constitutionally guaranteed to their students. We believe the Texas Supreme Court needs to uphold the trial court’s August decision that the state does not give adequate funding to students, and declare that charter school students are entitled to equitable funding.
May 13, 2016: The Texas Supreme Court issued its ruling on the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system. The Texas Supreme Court overturned the trial court’s August decision that the state does not give adequate funding to students, and declared that school funding in its present state was constitutionally sound. The high court rejected all of the charter school claims, finding that the difference in funding between traditional ISDs and public charters was not so arbitrary as to amount to a violation of the Texas Constitution. The decision leaves school funding at the discretion of state lawmakers and does nothing to alleviate the disparity in funding for public charter school students. Read TCSA’s press release here.
September 1, 2015: The Texas Supreme Court heard arguments from the Texas Charter Schools Association and the other appellants in the school finance case. The court adjourned and will likely take several months before publishing its decision. Read TCSA’s summary.
July 3, 2015: The Texas Supreme Court sets the case for oral argument on September 1, 2015.
July 2, 2015: Charter School Plaintiffs (Cross-Appellees) file their second brief to the Texas Supreme Court asking the Court to uphold the trial court’s decision that charter schools do not receive adequate funding to meet state constitutional standards. The school district plaintiffs filed separate briefs, arguing to uphold the district court’s decision in all respects. Also, the school district plaintiffs jointly filed a brief challenging the arguments made by the Intervenors. And finally, the State of Texas filed its second brief seeking to uphold the district court’s decision to deny relief to the charters (on their equity claims) and to deny relief to the Intervenors.
April, 14, 2015: Charter School Plaintiffs (Appellants) filed their opening brief to the Texas Supreme Court asking the Court to overturn the district court’s denial of the charter school’s equitable funding claims. The State of Texas and the Intervenors also filed opening briefs seeking to overturn certain aspects of the district court’s ruling.
September 23, 2014: Judge Dietz denied the Charter School Plaintiffs’ request for additional and amended findings of fact and conclusions of law. The judge also overruled the Charter School Plaintiff’s objections to the Court’s finding of fact and conclusions of law.
Friday, September 26, 2014: The State of Texas filed its Notice of Appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
September 8, 2014: The Charter School Plaintiffs filed their objections to the Trial Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. In it, the Charter School Plaintiffs also requested additional and amended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Judge Dietz has ten days to respond to the filing presented by the Charter School Plaintiffs.
August 28, 2014: Judge Dietz issued his written rulings after nearly two years of trial. The judgment can be found here, and the judge’s findings of fact and conclusions of law can be found here. TCSA’s statement on the rulings: “We agree wholeheartedly with the judge’s findings on adequacy. However, the judge got it wrong on specific charter claims, and it’s now time for the Texas Supreme Court to get it right,” said David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA). “Public charter schools have answered the call from parents for more quality education choices and innovative options, but we know that parents aren’t willingly choosing to walk away from needed funds for their students. It’s unfair to provide the option and not provide the means. The evidence was plain during trial: charter school students receive $1,000 less than district students on average each year. This disparity creates constitutional harm that