Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

February 6, 2013

School districts await ruling’s impact

Superintendents weigh in on judge’s decision in school finance lawsuit

By SALLY SEXTON

On the heels of a judge’s decision that the Texas public school funding system is unconstitutional, administrators in Parker County reacted to Monday’s landmark decision.

Shortly after listening to closing arguments, Judge John Dietz ruled the funding mechanism does not meet the constitutional requirement for a fair and efficient system that provides a general diffusion of knowledge.

“I’m not surprised with the decision,” Weatherford ISD superintendent Jeffrey Hanks said. “I hope that our state legislators would pay attention and seek to find some drastic relief to restore some of the state funding school districts lost during the last legislative session.”

In 2011, lawmakers imposed $5.4 billion in cuts to schools and education grant programs.

“For the judge to rule that the finance system is inequitable and inefficient, inadequate and unsuitable, and a statewide de facto property tax, is a very strong judgment,” Millsap superintendent David Belding said.

The school finance trial, which began Oct. 22 and took more than 240 hours in court and introduced 10,000 exhibits, was the sixth of its kind since 1984. More than 600 school districts joined four plaintiff groups to enter the lawsuit.

“I think this is a good first step and hope the Legislature will consider some relief for public schools since the ruling addressed an unconstitutional funding system, inequity, inadequacy and a system that promoted a state property tax,” Brock superintendent Richard Tedder said.

“[The ruling] is the first step in restoring what our students deserve,” Aledo superintendent Dan Manning added. “If we want our children to have the very best in educational opportunities, why would we not even provide what a state judge calls adequate or equitable?”

In a similar case in 2005, presided by Dietz, the judge found that the previous funding system was unconstitutional and directed the Legislature to devise a new one.

Text Only
Front Page
  • New roads/improvements proposed by CCAC

    Although the initial phases of the project date back three years ago, the Citizen’s Capital Advisory Committee, appointed by the Weatherford City Council, has been working tirelessly through the first and second quarters of this year to come up with viable street projects for the city’s current Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. At a work session Tuesday evening, City of Weatherford Director of Capital Transportation Terry Hughes walked the council through CCAC’s proposed streets projects, which would be funded by a bond that could be voted on in a November election.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jordan Paredes Teen driver facing charge in fatal wreck

    The 19-year-old driver involved in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week has been charged with driving while intoxicated and may face additional charges following the Tuesday death of a 16-year-old teen injured in the crash, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordan Paredes Weatherford boy dies following wreck near Brock

    A 16-year-old Weatherford teen injured in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week died Tuesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. 

    Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 one dar truck.jpg SHIPPING OUT

    The Daughters of the American Revolution is all about supporting the military and Saturday morning, District II of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution gathered for a district workshop meeting and to contribute to the United Service Organizations Inc.’s Treats for Troops, which distributes snacks and refreshments to military members traveling through the DFW Airport.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • city graphs.jpg HO council talks water rate increase

    At a regular Hudson Oaks City Council meeting Thursday, Hudson Oaks Assistant City Administrator Chad Janicek presented the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. As a part of the proposal, Janicek presented the council with proposed water utility rate increases, some of which, if approved, would take effect at the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in October. The second half would take effect in the coming years, still to be determined. As a result, the proposed rate adjustment will occur in two phases.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Julie Witt Parolee accused of embezzling $48,000 from Weatherford attorney

    A paroled paralegal, accused of embezzling more than $48,000 from a Weatherford attorney since November and leaving behind forged documents affecting at least two clients’ legal cases, is in jail again, facing her fourth felony theft charge in 15 years. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Splash Kingdom suspect Water park burglar sought

    Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month. 

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 one purple heart group.jpg A Purple Heart County

    County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse. 

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • WISD to propose tax rate decrease

    Weatherford ISD, which is projected to see a rise in property values, is proposing a one-cent tax rate decrease, which would slightly increase taxes for the average homeowner. 

    July 28, 2014

  • Israel Andrade Illegal indicted for burglary, child indecency

    A Parker County grand jury has indicted a man accused of breaking into a Springtown-area home earlier this month and molesting a sleeping 9-year-old girl.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks