Thursday, September 15, 2005 - Local News - 09/15/2005 - Seliger has 'doubts' Legislature will OK school finance reform | - Local News - 09/15/2005 - Seliger has 'doubts' Legislature will OK school finance reform |: "State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, Wednesday predicted the Texas Supreme Court's imminent ruling on public school finance reform won't specify guidelines and the state will still be without a new system when the next regular legislative session convenes in January 2007.

Having nettled lawmakers through two regular sessions and three special sessions in two years, the problem engages every tax paying interest in the state and thereby generates a terrific hubbub, he told a Midland County Republican Women's luncheon at the Petroleum Club.

When asked if legislators will be able to act after a Supreme Court ruling in about two weeks, Seliger said, 'I have my doubts.

'I don't think they'll say, 'This must be done.' They will probably cite the shortcomings and tell the Legislature to do its work.'

Saying it might well be 2007 before the conundrum is finally unknotted, Seliger said, 'It's not easy and it's not going to be done quickly.'

State District Judge John Dietz of Austin in September 2004 ruled the current 'Robin Hood' system unconstitutional and gave legislators until Oct. 1 this year to devise a system providing equal opportunities for the state's 4.3 million students.

Known as Shirley Neeley et al vs. West Orange Consolidated ISD et al, the case was appealed from Dietz' 250th District Court and argued by dozens of attorneys July 6 before the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson told the Reporter-Telegram last Friday in Austin the court will adhere to Dietz' deadline. 'I can't say it will be definitive,' he said.

'There will be a ruling from the court and the Legislature will do what it does.'"


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