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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
Edgewood Independent School District v. Kirby
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The Texas Constitution expressly requires the state legislature to create a system for financing public schools. Under the current system, each district derives funds from state tax revenue, local tax revenue, and federal and other sources. Specifically, the state supplies money derived from sales, severance, and excise taxes, while local districts rely on property tax revenue. However, the amount of property taxes available for school funding depends on the relative wealth of the district. For example, during the 1985–86 school year, the 100 wealthiest districts spent an average of $7,233 per student, while the 100 poorest districts spent an average of $2,978. The average property tax rate in the wealthy districts was 47 cents for every $100 in property value, but the average tax rate in the poorer districts was 74.5 cents. The disparities created by the financing scheme were challenged in state court as violating the Texas Constitution, which requires the legislature to create an efficient system for financing public education that provides for a “general diffusion of knowledge.” The court of appeals held that the system satisfied the constitutional requirements. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.