HISD Joins Other Districts In Funding Lawsuit Against State

The Houston Independent School District has joined more than 100 other districts in Texas in a lawsuit against the state over what it considers an unfair education funding system.

HISD's Jason Spencer says it boils down to this.

"Getting an adequate level of state funding for public schools is going to require litigation." 

The lawsuit seeks changes in the way the state doles out education dollars. HISD says it lost almost $80 million in state funding this school year and could be short $120 million next school year. Last week, the school board voted to keep the district's tax rate unchanged, which means HISD is now looking back to the state.

"It's a state obligation and our board's position is that it's unreasonable and unfair to expect the school board to increase the tax burden on HISD families that are already being hurt by the economic climate."
 
HISD prevailed in a similar lawsuit in 2005 and Spencer says it has a good case this time around as well. The district says it will cost around $65,000 to join the lawsuit, money that could be reimbursed if HISD and other districts win in court.