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Schools, state make final school finance arguments

By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Closing arguments are coming in the second phase of Texas' school finance trial - but a ruling isn't expected until next month.

State District Judge John Dietz declared more than year ago that state funding for public education is inadequate and unfairly distributed among school districts.

The initial decision came after more than 600 school districts statewide sued in response to the Legislature's cutting $5.4 billion in funding to classrooms in 2011. But last year, lawmakers restored more than $3.4 billion while easing high school graduation standards.

Dietz reopened the case three weeks ago to hear evidence on how that might affect his initial decision.

After Friday's closing arguments, Dietz will issue a written ruling on the entire trial after mid-March. That will be appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

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