State begins presenting school finance evidence

Shelley Dahlberg

AUSTIN (AP) — The state is set to begin presenting evidence in the second phase of Texas’ sweeping school finance trial.

Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office plans to call just three witnesses, starting Wednesday.

Closing arguments are Friday.

More than 600 school districts statewide have sued, claiming the way Texas funds public education is unconstitutional after the Legislature cut $5.4 billion in classroom funding in 2011.

State District Judge John Dietz ruled more than a year ago, finding that funding was inadequate and unfairly distributed.

But last summer, lawmakers restored more than $3.4 billion to schools while loosening high school graduation requirements.

Dietz has reconvened the case to hear if the Legislature’s actions might alert his decision.

He will eventually issue a final ruling. It should be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

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