The Latest: Texas leader: Court affirms what lawmakers knew

The Latest: Texas leader: Court affirms what lawmakers knew

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Latest on the Texas Supreme Court upholding the state's school finance system (all times local):
    
9:45 a.m.
    
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says the state Supreme Court's ruling on the school finance system shows it has "flaws ... but it is constitutional."
    
The Republican oversees the state Senate and is a former chairman of the chamber's powerful education committee.
    
He said Friday's ruling confirms what many in the GOP-controlled Legislature already believed.
    
The ruling concludes four-plus years of legal battles in Texas' largest-ever school finance case, and means state lawmakers won't have to devise a new funding plan.
    
The lawsuit was filed by 600-plus districts in 2011, after the GOP-controlled Legislature cut $5.4 billion from classrooms.
    
Texas uses a "Robin Hood" system where districts share property tax revenue. A lower court judge had previously ruled that the funding system inadequate and unfairly distributed between school districts in rich and poor areas.
    
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9:10 a.m.
    
The Texas Supreme Court has declared the state's school finance system constitutional - a surprise defeat for 600-plus school districts that sued.
    
Friday's ruling by the all-Republican court concludes four-plus years of legal battles in Texas' largest-ever school finance case.
    
It also means the GOP-controlled Legislature won't have to devise a new funding plan.
    
The high court reversed a ruling by a Democratic district judge, who previously ruled funding inadequate and unfairly distributed between school districts in rich and poor areas. Texas uses a "Robin Hood" system in which districts share property tax revenue.
    
The lawsuit was filed by 600-plus districts in 2011 after the GOP-controlled Legislature cut $5.4 billion in school funding.
    
The case was the sixth since 1984, and the court had found the system unconstitutional four times.

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