Multiple lawsuits were filed against the State of Texas alleging that the current system of public school finance violates the Texas Constitution. The cases were consolidated in Travis County District Court, and trial began on October 22, 2012. Three plaintiff groups representing over 650 school districts and over 3.7 million students agreed to share the costs of research and expert testimony. LAF approved direct financial assistance to the three school district plaintiff groups for preparation of plaintiff expert witnesses, analysis of reports and depositions from defense witnesses, analysis of issues presented at trial, and assistance with appeal issues.
On February 4, 2013, after 44 days of trial, Judge Dietz ruled from the bench granting nearly all of the relief requested and declaring the public school finance system unconstitutional for failing to provide a general diffusion of knowledge by making suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools. Tex. Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coal., et al. v. Williams, et al.
, No. D-1-GN-11-003130 (Travis County District Court). LAF’s attorneys: David Thompson and Philip Fraissinet, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Houston.