Former education officials weighs in on Texas school funding deemed 'unconstitutional'

Former Region 19 director, Jimmy Vasquez, says the state has yet to prioritize education

EL PASO, Texas -  A state district judge has ruled the way Texas funds its schools is unconstitutional.

The ruling said Texas fails to disperse money equally across the state.

Retired director of the Region 19 Education Service Center said borderland educators have been fighting for equal funding for as long as he can remember.

He said the Texas Legislature has yet to prioritize the education of students.

"They have been told time and again by the U.S. Supreme Court, by the Texas Supreme Court that they have to have the mechanism to assure that there was equity for all students," said Vasquez

Borderland schools have historically not received equitable funding because they're property-poor.

For example, the El Paso Independent School District and the Plano School District, a wealthier area, average a little more than $8,000 per student. It's EPISD property owners that get hit with a higher tax rate.

"The quality of teaching you buy with money, the quality of the buildings, the lab equipment, the textbooks everything that you need in the classroom is driven by money," said Vasquez.

If the Texas Supreme Court upholds the judge's decision, state lawmakers will have to design a new funding method. That could be well after the 2015 legislative session is over.

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