Most Recent Fights for Fair Funding of Texas Schools – Podcast Episode 197 | Classnotes Podcast 197

Albert Cortez, Morgan Craven, Al KauffmanClassnotes Podcast (October 23, 2019). After a little over a decade of relatively fair funding in Texas, policymakers adopted changes in 2005 that re-inserted new inequitable features into the system, and the state started to reduce its share of school funding. In this second of four episodes on school finance, Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA national director of policy, talks with two other school finance experts: Dr. Albert Cortez, who led IDRA’s policy work and served as an expert witness in numerous school finance trials until his retirement in 2015, and Al Kauffman, J.D., who was the lead litigator for MALDEF and now is a professor at St. Mary’s Law School.

In the first episode in this series, they give a quick history school finance in Texas. In this second episode, they describe a chain of litigation resulting in a disastrous Texas Supreme Court ruling that struck a blow to students across the state.

Show length: 26 min.


Texas School Finance Reform: An IDRA Perspective

IDRA’s Fair Funding for the Common Good website

In school finance decision, the poor people have lost again, David Hinojosa, J.D., Texas Tribune, June 14, 2016

Conversation: Albert Kauffman and David Hinojosa on Texas School Finance, NowCastSA, May 18, 2016

The Latest Texas School Finance Equity and Adequacy Court Case – Round Six Texas Taxpayers and Student Fairness Coalition et al vs. Williams, by Dr. Albert Cortez, IDRA Newsletter, 2014

On school funding, the needed next steps will be hard, Houston Chronicle, May 13, 2016.

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Show Notes

  • Morgan introduces the second episode of the series.

  • Al describes the circumstances and outcomes of the Texas Supreme Court school funding court case of 2016. He also explains why it will be so difficult to take the issue back to court in the future to resolve funding inequities.

  • Albert discusses the ruling’s policy implications on Texas’s 85th and 86th legislative sessions in 2017 and 2019, including the formation of a commission on school finance to recommend changes to the state’s school funding system.

  • Morgan, Al and Albert consider what equitable school funding actually looks like, how we’ll know when that equity has been achieved, and the collaborative steps we can take to get there.