In just under two weeks, the ball will start rolling for the many school finance lawsuits against the State of Texas. April 16 is the deadline set by District Court Judge Dietz for a scheduling order, and other key dates are also coming up. Expert reports for the plaintiffs are due by July 30th and expert reports for the State by August 27th. These deadlines were set last Wednesday
Judge Dietz has also indicted that he will roll the four most major school finance lawsuits into one trial. The Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition, MALDEF, Haynes & Boone, and Thompson-Horton all fighting together will make the lawsuit look more like this: Texas v. Texans. Because with as many schools that are represented in these lawsuits, it truly looks like the State of Texas will fight its entire constituent body in court.
And you can bet that the lawsuit will vibrate into the next legislative session under the pink dome, too. One might only ask, “How much?” There's a distinct possibility that the lawsuit will take place in October, casting an appropriate backdrop for the November elections.
If the trial waits until November to begin, however, an initial decision from the District Court will come down as any jockeying for a challenge to Speaker Straus might happen or while state senators brawl to determine our next Lieutenant Governor.
If you thought the State of Texas fights its constituents during Photo ID and Redistricting legal battles, however, just you wait and see how this looks.