A state district judge in Texas last week directed lawyers for the state to revise a key study that underestimated the funding advantages of higher-wealth school districts—a blow to the state’s arguments in a school finance lawsuit that current differences among districts are insignificant.
Judge John Dietz asked that the study be corrected after lawyers for districts suing the state cited multiple miscalculations in the report. It was offered as evidence by the state to show that the funding gap between higher-wealth and other districts has diminished in the past six years.
Rick Gray, a lawyer for one of the plaintiff groups, said the gap has actually increased more than 50 percent during the period. The 152 wealthiest districts in Texas have $1,671 per student more to spend than the rest of school districts.
In a class of 22 students, that amounts to an extra $37,762 per year.
The judge said he wants the corrected report this week.
The case is expected to be appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court by whichever party loses the state or the more than 600 districts suing the state over its funding system.
A version of this article appeared in the January 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Judge Orders Rewrite of Texas Finance Study