Edgewood v. Kirby: Tax warfare in Texas

Mark Alexander Torres, University of Texas at El Paso


This research seeks to examine the impact of the Edgewood v. Kirby litigation argued before the courts of Texas between 1984 and 1995. During this period, a concerted effort to reform the state system of public school finance was initiated by the Edgewood Independent School District, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Equity Center. While their efforts were supported by other property poor school districts, a handful of legislators, and reform and equity advocates their progress was substantially impeded and hindered by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Legislature, some of the property wealthy school districts, and state political leaders. Their goal was to bring equity to the state system of public school finance which favored property wealthy school districts and discriminated against schools in property poor districts. The Edgewood lawsuits, which succeeded in bringing extensive changes to the state system of public school finance, focused state and national attention on the severe inequalities that existed in Texas at that time. Today, the system of financing public education in Texas is less inequitable than it has been in the history of the state. For the most part this has been accomplished through the infusion of state revenues to temper the glaring differences in the quality of education offered by property poor and property rich school districts. Nevertheless, financing public education in Texas continues to be an inflammatory subject which elicits a wide range of reactions. Consequently, the campaign to equalize funding for public education is as yet an unfinished business.

Subject Area

School finance|Law

Recommended Citation

Torres, Mark Alexander, "Edgewood v. Kirby: Tax warfare in Texas" (2001). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3008209.