There are few things on the Texas Legislature’s special session agenda to get excited about, but creating a commission to study school finance is something we should all rally around.

Establishing a fair and equitable public school finance system is a high priority among many Texans. Our legislators, however, have done little to resolve that issue and appeared more inclined toward spending their time in Austin on furthering political agendas and coming up with unfunded mandates.


The Texas public school finance system is in dire need of repair and has been for years. It has been the focus of countless legal battles over the decades. The latest round of litigation resulted in a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court last summer that found the state’s school-finance system was constitutional, but had room for vast improvement.

“Texas’ more than 5 million school children deserve better than serial litigation over the increasingly Daedalean system. They deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid. They deserve a revamped, nonsclerotic system fit for the 21st century.” Justice Eva Guzman wrote in a concurring opinion in that ruling.

Thus far, however, nothing substantive has been accomplished to achieve the revamped system Guzman so strongly advocated. Attempts to achieve a workable plan ran into trouble during the waning hours of the 85th Legislature. There is little optimism the issue will get resolved in a jam-packed special session.

The fact is that the Legislature has had ample opportunity to address this problem. But if a commission gets legislators off the dime, we applaud the effort.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposal for creating a bipartisan commission to focus in on this one issue and draft a plan to address the deficiencies in the public school finance system could go a long way to minimize the political grandstanding and maneuvering.

The experts on public school finance have spoken, the numbers have been collected and the studies have been presented. The information the commission needs to get started is in the court transcripts and in exhibits entered into evidence in the school finance litigation. There is no need to go back to ground zero in collecting all that information.

It’s time to end the political posturing, end the stalemate and work together to develop a workable plan.

The school children of Texas deserve to have this issue resolved sooner rather than later.