School finance timeline

A timeline of events in the Texas school finance battle
Associated Press

Here’s a look at major dates in Texas’ school finance battle:

  • 1989: The Texas Supreme Court throws out the state’s school funding law after finding "glaring disparities" between rich and poor school districts. The high court later rules two other Texas school funding plans unconstitutional in the early 1990s.
  • 1993: Days before a court-imposed deadline threatened to close Texas schools, the Legislature forces property-rich school districts to share some wealth with poorer ones.
  • 1995: The Texas Supreme Court upholds the share-the-wealth system, sometimes called "Robin Hood."
  • 2001: Then-acting Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, who as a state senator authored the "Robin Hood" funding plan, says its needs review and possible change.
  • 2003: Attorneys for property-wealthy school districts argue before the Texas Supreme Court that Robin Hood has created an illegal statewide property tax after many districts have pushed collections to the legal limit.
  • April 20, 2004: The Legislature meets in a special session called by Republican Gov. Rick Perry to address school finance. The session ends two days early when they fail to pass a new plan.
  • Sept. 15, 2004: After a trial brought by 300 districts, both rich and poor, a judge rules the education funding system is unconstitutional, threatening to order the state to halt school spending Oct. 1.
  • Jan. 11, 2005: Legislature convenes and Perry declares education funding an "emergency." Lawmakers fail to pass a new system before session expires May 30.
  • June 18: Perry vetoes $35 billion in education spending, forcing lawmakers into special session starting Tuesday.
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