AISD superintendent testifies in Texas school finance lawsuit

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

kvue.com

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 26 at 6:43 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- Austin Independent School District has joined the fight against the state of Texas, claiming the current school system is providing inadequate funding, imposing an unconstitutional tax and an unfair funding system.

Monday, AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen Ed.D testified in civil court, saying AISD cannot deal with a revenue loss of $150 million. She says while economic challenges continue to grow, so does the demand on our students.

Carstarphen testified there are 8,000 more students enrolled in AISD this year as compared to 10 years ago. She also says there are more bilingual, homeless and economically challenged students. 

She says the district has been taking money out of the reserve fund to meet budget. Since Carstarphen joined the district, she says they've cut the budget by $77 million in the last three years. They've had lay-offs, hiring freezes, cut benefits and electricity costs. At the same time, she says expectations for students have increased.

AISD will continue calling witnesses. The state will put on its case next week. This trial is expected to last through December and into next year.

 

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