Judge poised to issue final school finance ruling

State District Judge John Dietz, right, listens to plaintiff attorney Leonard Schwartz's, foreground, closing arguments in the second phase of Texas' school finance trial before , Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
State District Judge John Dietz, right, listens to plaintiff attorney Leonard Schwartz's, foreground, closing arguments in the second phase of Texas' school finance trial before , Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (AP) — The judge overseeing the Texas school finance case is wrapping up his final ruling. State District Judge John Dietz’s staff says a written ruling of more than 400 pages should be filed Thursday. Last year, Dietz ruled verbally that the way Texas pays for public education is unconstitutional. He said funding was inadequate and unfairly distributed among schools in wealthy and poor areas.

The case isn’t resolved until his written ruling is filed, though. It arose from the Legislature cutting $5.4 billion from classroom funding in 2011, prompting more than 600 school districts to sue. Lawmakers restored about $3.4 billion in 2013.

Dietz’s final decision will eventually be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. If it upholds Dietz, the Legislature will have to devise a new funding scheme.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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