Lubbock ISD: State funding for district in bottom third

Published: Oct. 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 15, 2014 at 2:04 AM CST
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From Lubbock ISD:

Nancy Sharp, Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Lubbock Independent School District, released the following statement Monday regarding the lawsuit filed by the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition:

Lubbock ISD is a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition, which is one of the five lawsuits consolidated for trial and beginning today.

The Texas Constitution requires the state to fund schools efficiently and adequately. The lawsuit, of which LISD is a part, centers on the "arbitrary and inefficient funding system" for public schools which has resulted in tremendous disparity between school districts in per student funding.

Within Lubbock County, there is about a $400 spread between districts in state funding per student, while the cost of educating a student remains very consistent. Lubbock ISD is in the bottom third of districts in terms of funding from the state.

The lawsuit contends that many districts are required to "tax at the absolute highest levels in order to spend at levels below the state average" per student. The current funding system is not fair to taxpayers and does not provide local control to deal with the inadequacy of the system. While accountability standards for students and districts are dramatically increasing, state funding for Lubbock ISD has been reduced by about $14 million for the current biennium.

Dr. Karen Garza, LISD superintendent, said, "We have an obligation to stand up for our students and their needs. The cost for LISD to participate in the lawsuit is less than a beginning teacher's salary, which the district views as a good investment in order to gain equal access to resources for our students."

About three-fourths of the school districts in Texas are party to one of the school funding lawsuits. The state must reimburse the cost of litigation to the school districts if they prevail.