Texas schools not yet in crisis mode, state argues

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas is arguing that its schools may eventually face an impending crisis but that they're not there yet.

Six lawsuits charge that the school finance system violates the Texas Constitution, which guarantees free and efficient public schools. A trial rolling them into a single case began Monday in Austin.

School districts have pointed to $5.4 billion in cuts to state funding and grant programs in 2011 - even as enrollment has increased sharply - as proof the system is unfair.

Assistant Attorney General Shelly Dahlberg countered that between 2006 and 2010 the state funded schools beyond the rate of inflation and growing enrollment.

She said that even after the 2011 cuts, districts must still show in court they are spending their money efficiently and not on non-essentials like classroom iPads.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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