|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
LISD plans to join school funding lawsuit
BY THOMAS J. TAYLOR
LIVINGSTON — The Livingston ISD Board of Trustees decided in a unanimous vote during their regular session Monday to join other Texas schools – more than 300 individual districts– in litigation against the Legislature for inequitable distribution of public school funds. The cost of joining the suit is not to exceed $1 per weighted average daily attendance, which for LISD comes to just over $5,000. The motion to join was passed with the amendment that Livingston request to be a named plaintiff in the coming litigation. Superintendent Darrell Myers believes there’s no reason why a neighboring county should be offering string lessons after school for free while others struggle to cover the basic needs of their students. When asked why it is necessary for the district to make this expenditure when so many others already had enough momentum to make an impact on future legislation, Myers said, “We have been a long-standing supporter for equity in schools and school funding.” LISD has been a member of the Equity Center for four years, an organization that acts as a common banner for underfunded districts. “The simple answer is,” said Myers “it’s time we put our money where our mouth is.” In the Comptroller’s new Financial Allocation Study for Texas, LISD ranked in the bottom seventh percentile for the math and reading progress composite. However, the report listed Livingston’s wage adjusted spending per student as “High” a figure that may be misleading due to both a large number of low-income families and the districts spending on expanding facilities to accommodate new enrollment, a factor which the study as well as the Legislature has neglected to address. See Sunday’s edition for an indepth coverage of this and other related topics.