Education according to the state Constitution, is the responsibility of the state of Texas.
But the state is broke and in the last legislative session, funding was slashed for the first time ever.
There are lawsuits about funding and today a big player joined in.
Several school districts, including Tyler, have joined in suits over the current lack of state money for education.
And now an influential group is suing as well, but for different reasons.
The Texas Association of Business has weighed in on the education system in Texas.
“The state’s obligation is to provide for an efficient school system,” says TAB President Bill Hammond. “And we’re not sure that the current school system we have is efficient. Courts in the past have asked that this issue be brought to them, and we’re happy to do just that.”
Texas figured out long ago that the public schools were a state responsibility. They handle the organization, curriculum, buy the books and the funding.
In the last legislative session though, it was cut for the first time and many districts including TISD, have gone to court.
But there’s another suit out there involving the Texas Association of Business. And it is very different.
Business in Texas today pays from ½ to 2/3rds of all state taxes. They say they want to have an honest calculation by an honest broker of what it should or could cost.
While this is going on, the state released the salary list for all District Superintendents for this year.
TISD’s Randy Reid ranks 208th in the state at $185,000.
The highest paid is not Houston or Dallas but property tax rich Beaumont.
The Longview Super, James Wilcox makes almost as much as Dallas at $207,500.
By the way, the lowest paid superintendent? It’s Steven James of Higgins ISD.
He rakes in $548 bucks a year.
The TAB told KETK that the case is expected to move through the court pretty quickly.
Meanwhile there are at least 6 others filed by districts all over the state.