Thompson & Horton LLP
Public School Finance Litigation
This week Thompson & Horton continued its meetings with experts. The first deposition was scheduled for June 12th. The intervenors will be deposing Mark Hurley, a hedge-fund investor from Dallas-Fort Worth who conducted a self-funded (and self-guided) study of the financial accountability system for Texas public schools. Mr. Hurley concludes:
“there is no real financial accountability for the K-12 public education in Texas.”
He bases his claim on the somewhat inconsistent complaints that the system is not simple enough for non-educational professionals to understand, and that it isn’t detailed enough to allow the tracking of every item purchased.
A copy of Mr. Hurley’s study can be found here
Gwen Santiago’s response to the report, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman
, can be found here
Finally, we are in the process of finalizing messaging points that we will distribute next week.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and let us know if you have any questions.
In the News
Chamber talks school finance
By Lindsey Vaculin
Your Ranch News
(Fort Bend County)
April 20, 2012
Members of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce have a little better picture of the where the Fort Bend Independent School District and numerous districts across the state are headed with a challenge to the constitutionality of the current school funding system. The Chamber hosted David Thompson of Thompson and Horton LLP at a luncheon on Friday afternoon to discuss school finance. [Read more
Lawmakers defend votes in Texas Tribune forum
By Matthew Waller
April 24, 2012
During the past legislative session, Texas cut billions of dollars from education.
Recently, public school students began taking the new, more rigorous STAAR exam. In light of the new exam, a pop quiz seems appropriate: How much did the leadership of this state cut from the public education budget during the 82nd Legislative Session? A) No money was cut; B) Schools actually received a funding increase; or C) $5.4 billion. [Read more
Governor lays out budget imperatives
By Ed Sterling
April 26, 2012
AUSTIN – With sights set on the 83rd Texas Legislature convening in January, Gov. Rick Perry on April 16 announced “five key principles for a stronger Texas” that he has titled the “Texas Budget Compact.”
The principles are: 1.) Practice truth in budgeting; 2.) Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population and inflation... [Read more
PISD budget could include pay raises
By Bill Conrad
April 19, 2012
Plano ISD will receive about $10.6 million less in state funding for the 2012-2013 school year, considerably less than the $24 million reduction it dealt with prior to the current school year. However, unlike last year when hundreds of employees were laid off, no layoffs are being considered this year due to the district's estimated $158 million fund balance. Another difference from last year is that pay raises may be built into the budget. [Read more
Maybe They Should Call It the “Superintendent” PAC
By Michele Samuelson
April 27, 2012
Here we are, less than 20 days out from the start of early voting. In the next few weeks, the Texas Parent PAC has threatened promised to release at least
25 endorsements in legislative races across the state, and they started with one of the obvious ones
, Trent Ashby, the challenger in HD 57.
We won’t know where Parent PAC is spending their money for a few days yet, when the 30-day reports are filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. However, we can dig into where they’re getting their money, and once again, it is obvious that an organization that is supposedly all about parents is really about bureaucracy. [Read more