Fixing Texas school finance may mean big price tag
Dietz’s ruling means nothing changes immediately in school finance. The Texas attorney general’s office has the option of appealing the decision straight to the state Supreme Court, which, if it upholds Dietz’s ruling, would order the Legislature to overhaul the way the state pays for its schools.
Since the legislative session ends in May, though, such a ruling will almost certainly mean convening a special session on school finance in 2014. But allowing the case to make its way through lower appeals courts before it reaches the Supreme Court could be a better political option.
Republicans in the Legislature might not want to vote in favor of increasing school funding until after the March 2014 primary to avoid tea party challenges. The longer the case takes to get to the high court, the longer a potential special session is delayed.
‘‘Moving forward, we don’t expect the Legislature to do much,’’ Hinojosa said. ‘‘It’s likely to be decided in about a year or so from the Supreme Court.’’