NEWS FROM THE ACCESS NETWORK

Texas Education Funding System Ruled Unconstitutional

September 8, 2014

In a massive 364 page ruling issued last week, Texas District Court Judge John K. Dietz ruled that Texas system the Texas education finance system: is structured in such a way that it cannot provide an adequate education for all students; does not provide the “general diffusion of knowledge” called for by the state constitution; […]

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Washington Supreme Court Holds Contempt Hearing

September 8, 2014

Last Wednesday, the Washington Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the plaintiffs’ motion to hold the state in contempt for failing to comply with the Court’s prior orders that require the state to make sufficient progress each year to eliminate constitutional deficiencies in its education funding system by 2017-2018. In 2012, the court held that […]

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Mississippi School Districts Sue State For Funding Shortfall

September 8, 2014

Claiming that state lawmakers have underfunded education by $1.5 billion since 2009, 14  Mississippi school districts sued the state last week. A former governor, Ronnie Musgrove, is the attorney for the plaintiff school districts. The core legal issue behind this case is the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), a 1997 formula that determines funding levels […]

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Report Analyzes Georgia Underfunding

September 8, 2014

Cuts in state aid to public school have totaled $8.4 billion in recent years according to 2014 Schoolhouse Squeeze, a report recently issued by the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute.  In inflation-adjusted dollars, this has amounted to a 12% reduction between 2002-2015. Local funding, which provides 41% of school district revenues,  has not been able […]

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New York Plaintiffs Ask For Immediate $1 Billion

July 10, 2014

Claiming that a statute that allows the state to deduct over $ 1 billion from amounts that the state funding formula calculates to be due to school districts is “unconstitutional on its face,” the plaintiffs in NYSER v. State of New York filed a motion for a preliminary injunction late last month that asks the […]

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Colorado Plaintiffs Seek Elimination of “Negative Factor”

July 10, 2014

Mounting a challenge to a legislative mechanism similar to New York’s “Gap Elimination Adjustment,” a group of parents, school districts and  statewide organizations filed suit in Denver District Court on June 26, 2014, arguing that Colorado’s so-called “negative factor” a device used by the legislature to reduce annual K-12 spending, is unconstitutional. Dwyer vs. State […]

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Rebell Commentary: Vergara Copy Cat Suit Will Not Succeed (New York Daily News Op-Ed July 7, 2014)

July 10, 2014

A few weeks ago, a judge in California struck down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-order layoff laws. Even though the ruling has not yet been reviewed by the California Supreme Court — which may well reverse it — there already is a strong copycat effect, as groups in a number of states, including New […]

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Two New Reports Highlight Causes of Funding Inequity and Educational Inefficiency

July 10, 2014

Two reports examining the relationship between school districts’ financial standing and educational inequities were released this week by the Center on American Progress. The first is the updated 2014 version of Ulrich Boser’s earlier report, “Return on Educational Investment: 2011. Like its predecessor, the 2014 report uses the same metrics: 2010-2011 school year spending data (being […]

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Washington Supreme Court Issues Order to Show Cause Regarding the State’s Non-Compliance

June 17, 2014

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court ordered the state to appear in court on September 3 to show why it should not be held in contempt for failing to comply with the Court’s prior orders that require the state to make sufficient progress each year to eliminate constitutional deficiencies in its education funding system by […]

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California Court Strikes Down Tenure and LIFO Laws

June 17, 2014

Breaking new ground regarding the role of the courts in educational-policy issues, a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles ruled last week that the state’s tenure, teacher dismissal and seniority-order layoff statutes are unconstitutional under the state’s equal protection clause. Vergara v. State of California. If upheld by the California Supreme Court, this decision could […]

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