AUSTIN (AP) — A special commission has begun discussing how to remake Texas’ school finance system, 18-plus months after the state Supreme Court declared it deeply flawed but still barely constitutional.

That ruling spared the Legislature from having to overhaul how Texas pays for educating around 5.3 million students. Instead, many top Republicans backed unsuccessful voucher plans offering public money to children attending private schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott then convened a bipartisan group of lawmakers and education leaders which met Tuesday to weigh new ideas before the Legislature next convenes in 2019.

Top conservatives chiefly want a system that will cut local property taxes, which have skyrocketed because they pay for the bulk of public school costs.

Other members argue that property taxes won’t fall without Texas dramatically increasing state spending on classrooms.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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