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Inside: Texas school finance system unconstitutional

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the state's method of funding public schools is unconstitutional.

The court found that the system of allocating money to school districts amounted to a statewide property tax, which the Texas constitution does not allow.

The justices set a June 1, 2006, deadline for the legislature to correct the flaws in the aid formula.

The court says the deadline gives lawmakers “ample time to fully consider structural changes in the public education system and to allow the system time to adjust to those changes.”

Although it struck down the way tax revenue is collected in Texas, the high court did find that overall state spending on public education is adequate. That is a setback for many districts that had argued that more money was needed to provide Texas students with a good education.

A lower court judge had declared last year that the education funding system was unconstitutional. State officials appealed to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to reach a legislative solution — first in a regular session, then in two special sessions ordered by the governor.

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