AUSTIN (AP) – Judge John Dietz has some deceptively simple questions to answer about how Texas finances public schools in the current lawsuit.

Article 7 of the Texas Constitution requires the Legislature to “make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” The Travis County district judge must decide what amount of money is suitable, and how to define efficient.

Most observers expect he will rule the school finance system inadequate. The only question is how he will do it, and how much he will expect lawmakers to change it.

Whatever the outcome, the losing side will certainly appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. In the meantime, lawmakers will spend this spring drafting a new budget for public schools.

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