Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez
Mexican-American parents of children in the Edgewood School District in San Antonio sued on behalf of children of poor families residing in districts having a low property tax base. The challengers attacked the constitutionality of the Texas system of financing public education, which relied heavily on such property taxes. Specifically, the challengers claimed that the system violated equal protection because it produced substantial inter-district disparities in per-pupil expenditures, stemming from the differences in property values among the district. Although contributions from a statewide “minimum foundation school program” served to reduce inter-district disparities, district spending continued to vary considerably on the basis of property wealth. The District Court, exercising strict scrutiny, held that the Texas scheme violated equal protection.
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