State Supreme Court Says Property Taxes Used To Pay For Public Schools Is Unconstitutional

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that local property taxes used to pay for public schools amount to an unconstitutional statewide tax.

Justices have given the state until June 1st to fix the system.

By a seven-to-one vote, the state's highest civil court agreed with one of three arguments made against the state by hundreds of school districts. But justices also found that overall school funding is adequate and that poor districts have equal access to facilities funding.

Justice Scott Brister was the only member of the nine-member court to dissent. Newly sworn justice Don Willett did not participate.

Hundreds of property-rich and poor school districts sued the state, contending its method of paying for public education was inadequate. The state argued that great strides had been made in Texas public education over the past decade. It said changes to the funding system should be made by the legislature, not the courts.