Officials with the Calallen Independent School District are considering joining into litigation against the state for more equitable education funding
CISD trustees will consider a resolution on the possible litigation during a school board meeting on Monday. The litigation is being spearheaded by the non-profit organization Equity Center, which has over 600 member school district from across the state.
“For years, Calallen ISD has received less funding for our students than many other school districts in the State of Texas. I am recommending that we join them by contributing $1 per Weighted Average Daily Attendance and that we also be named as plaintiff interveners,” CISD Superintendent Arturo Almendarez said. “Despite years of litigation in the past, the state continues to fund school districts in a very unfair and very inequitable manner.”
Almendarez said the discrepancy is blatant. When compared to the Austin Independent School District, Almendarez said Calallen could be receiving $2 million per year if both districts were funded equitably. He said CISD students are just as important as any other students across the state.
“For years and years we’ve received less money than many other school districts. All we are asking is that they be fair and equitable,” Almendarez said.
He said action on the school finance front is usually only achieved following litigative action. He said he sees the lawsuit taking its time through the court system, with a resolution not expected this biennium or possibly not even by the next legislative session.
Tuloso-Midway Independent School District Interim Superintendent Sue Nelson said joining in financing litigation is not something the TMISD is interested in doing at this time.
“We would not be one who would participate. I think that, unfortunately, they want equity. And when you talk about equity and school districts, that means they want the rich to give up their money to give to the poor, and we are considered a property rich school district, and we’ve been there, done that,” Nelson said.
A positive for TMISD, Nelson said, has been taking in tuition-free kids.
She said the district’s population has been growing, and, as long as that continues, the district will be able to keep a majority of their property wealth.
Nelson mentioned other school districts in the area, such as Ingleside and Port Aransas, that she felt would not be interested in joining in potential litigation.