Davis Calls For End to School Funding Lawsuit

AUSTIN, TX -- Senator Wendy Davis today called on Attorney General Greg Abbott to end the school funding lawsuit currently pending before State District Judge John Dietz. 

Senator Davis challenged Greg Abbott to settle with the plaintiffs and not to appeal Judge Dietz’s ruling, which General Abbott has said he plans to do. Judge Dietz is expected to rule on the case later this year.

"We’re locked in a legal battle that everyone, except General Abbott, seems to know is over," said Senator Davis. “He’s defending the indefensible. Now he has a choice – continue defending an unconstitutional school funding system and appeal or move to settle. I call on him to settle this case."

The lawsuit began after the 82nd legislative session when the legislature slashed $5.4 billion in public education funding. Senator Davis filibustered the cuts to public education, but was unsuccessful in stopping them. As a result, an estimated 11,000 teaching positions went unfilled.

Subsequently, roughly 600 independent school districts sued the in state district court claiming the state’s funding system was unconstitutional. Judge Dietz agreed in 2013, but withheld a final ruling pending action in the Legislature.

Senator Davis, along with others, proposed solutions to public school funding issues. Ultimately, the Legislature restored approximately $3.4 billion in funding. 

While Senator Davis and others, specifically the independent school districts acting as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, still believe the system remains unconstitutional, the Attorney General’s office continues to defend the existing funding system.

At a press conference at Austin Community College, originally Austin High School, Senator Davis said:

“It’s time to quit defending, and start leading. I fought what Greg Abbott is defending; I fought for the school children and teachers in this state. It’s time to act. Greg Abbott can start by settling this case."

 

Senator Davis challenged Greg Abbott to settle with the plaintiffs and not to appeal Judge Dietz’s ruling, which General Abbott has said he plans to do. Judge Dietz is expected to rule on the case later this year.

"We’re locked in a legal battle that everyone, except General Abbott, seems to know is over," said Senator Davis. “He’s defending the indefensible. Now he has a choice – continue defending an unconstitutional school funding system and appeal or move to settle. I call on him to settle this case."

The lawsuit began after the 82nd legislative session when the legislature slashed $5.4 billion in public education funding. Senator Davis filibustered the cuts to public education, but was unsuccessful in stopping them. As a result, an estimated 11,000 teaching positions went unfilled.

Subsequently, roughly 600 independent school districts sued the in state district court claiming the state’s funding system was unconstitutional. Judge Dietz agreed in 2013, but withheld a final ruling pending action in the Legislature.

Senator Davis, along with others, proposed solutions to public school funding issues. Ultimately, the Legislature restored approximately $3.4 billion in funding. 

While Senator Davis and others, specifically the independent school districts acting as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, still believe the system remains unconstitutional, the Attorney General’s office continues to defend the existing funding system.

At a press conference at Austin Community College, originally Austin High School, Senator Davis said:

“It’s time to quit defending, and start leading. I fought what Greg Abbott is defending; I fought for the school children and teachers in this state. It’s time to act. Greg Abbott can start by settling this case."