Expert shows school district funding disparities

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An expert says the poorest Texas school districts charge higher local property taxes and yet collect about a fourth less in revenue per student than the state's wealthiest districts.

Albert Cortez is policy director at the Intercultural Development Research Association.

He told Texas' school finance trial Monday that the poorest 10 percent of districts statewide levy an average of 11 cents more per $100 valuation in local property taxes compared to the wealthiest 10 percent of districts.

But Cortez said that translates to about $1,430 less in funding per student - a 25 percent difference between the two groups.

More than 600 school districts have sued the state over the way it finances schools, claiming the system is inadequate and unfair.

The trial is expected to last into January.

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