AUSTIN, Texas -- Attorneys for hundreds of Texas school districts are telling a judge that state funding for public education is "hopelessly broken."
In opening statements Monday in Austin, Judge John Dietz heard that unless Texas bolsters its school funding, the earning power of its residents will decline so much that it will cost the state $11 billion in lost tax revenue by 2050.
Attorneys say the current funding scheme means districts in wealthy parts of Texas get about $2,000 more per student per year than districts in poor areas, even though they charge on average 8 cents less per dollar paid by area residents in property taxes.
The trial is expected to last into January. It involves six lawsuits filed since last October on behalf of about two-thirds of Texas school districts.