I was talking to an attorney for the plaintiffs in the upcoming Supreme Court case, when he said that conservatives may intervene in the school finance lawsuit. Their contention, the attorney said, is that an efficient system could be achieved with school choice and vouchers. A school finance lobbyist told me about a law review article on the subject a few years ago.
In any event, I doubt that the current lawsuit will go down that road. The Legislature’s decision, backed by Governor Perry, to cut $4 billion from the public education budget virtually guarantees that the state will lose the lawsuit. The state’s legal problem is that it continues to raise standards, which is a good thing, without providing the money and the instructional materials necessary to achieve success. This is a pretty good definition of a school system that does not meet the constitutional requirement of “efficient.”