Texas school finance system violates state constitution -judge

AUSTIN, Texas Mon Feb 4, 2013 4:52pm EST

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AUSTIN, Texas Feb 4 (Reuters) - Texas' school finance system violates the state constitution, a state district judge ruled on Monday.

District Judge John Dietz declared that the school finance system is not adequately funded, that it is inequitable and that it prevents school districts from exercising meaningful discretion in setting tax rates as required by the constitution.

Lawyers for hundreds of Texas school districts besieged by rapid population growth and deep budget cuts argued in a massive school finance trial that the state has not adequately funded public education or resolved inequities among districts.

The legal action was brought on behalf of about 650 of the state's 1,000-plus school districts, accounting for some 3.7 million of Texas' 5 million school children.

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