DENISON, TX - The Denison Independent School District is the latest school district to join a lawsuit against the state of Texas calling for education finance reform. Rick Springer talked with Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott about why he thinks the board made the right decision.
Denison ISD operates under a budget that was set and frozen by the state back in 2005. Couple that with six years of growth and inflation, and an additional $2 million budget cut, courtesy of the Texas Legislature, and Dr. Scott says you've got a system that's failing its students.
"It's become a crisis, actually," Scott says.
"It's caused to not be able to have programs in place that will get our students where they need to be academically."
At Tuesday's board meeting, Denison ISD voted to join a statewide lawsuit demanding equal treatment to both poor and rich school districts. It's an effort led by The Equity Center, an organization that represents the financial interests of more than 700 districts across Texas.
"We're hoping by joining with other districts to make the statement that our districts are not being funded at a proper level," Scott says.
The Center argues that the finance system is unbalanced. It says districts with the same tax rates can have widely varying per-student funding because of property value differences. So it's calling for the state to balance out per-student equity, allowing poorer school districts to provide the same level of education that wealthier ones do.
Sherman ISD hasn't signed on yet, but Superintendent Dr. Al Hambrick says they'll have to make a decision soon.
"Most people know that there's something that needs to be done, and I think that the efforts that they're trying to make to make sure that there is more equity across the state. It's probably something that needed to be done," Dr. Hambrick says.
So far more than 200 schools have signed on. For more detailed information about the lawsuit, check the link below.
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