Austin, Tx (KMSS) — Texas senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is asking Greg Abbott to end a school finance lawsuit.
In response to a $5.4 billion funding cut authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2011, more than 600 school districts sued the state. Almost one year ago, a Texas judge announced that the state lawmakers had violated the Texas Constitution by failing to fund the state's school finance system.
In May, when the legislature restored $3.4 billion and made other educational changes, that same judge announced he would postpone a final ruling until research had been done on the changes to the educational system.
The school districts were back in court Tuesday, arguing the changes weren't enough, while Texas gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Greg Abbott argues the opposite.
Abbott's Democratic opponent in the race for governor, state Senator Wendy Davis, attempted to filibuster the cuts made in 2011 which prompted the lawsuit. Since her campaign launch in October 2013, Davis said education would be one of her top priorities if elected governor.
Davis asked Abbott to end the lawsuit, saying he is hurting children and their families by defending the educational cuts. Greg Abbott has maintained that as State Attorney General he was required to defend the $5 billion in cuts to public school funding enacted by his allies in the Legislature. But, case law dating back to the 1979 decision of Bullock v. Texas Skating Ass’n, clearly states on p .894 that:
“In matters of litigation the Attorney General is the officer authorized by law to protect the interests of the State, and even in matters of bringing suit the Attorney General ‘must exercise judgment and discretion, which will not be controlled by other authorities’ … It was within the discretion of the Attorney General, not that of the Comptroller, to decide whether to appeal a case in which the State had experienced an adverse judgment in the trial court.” (cite: Bullock v. Texas Skating Ass’n, 583 S.W.2d 888, Austin Court of Civil Appeals, 1979)
Davis is asking Abbott to settle the school finance lawsuit, rather than fighting it with an lengthy lawsuit.