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Case Name Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District ED-TX-0001
Docket / Court CIV. A. 68-175-SA ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
On June 30, 1968, several members of the Edgewood Concerned Parent Association filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against several school districts and the state of Texas. The plaintiffs claimed that state laws requiring schools to supplement ... read more >
On June 30, 1968, several members of the Edgewood Concerned Parent Association filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against several school districts and the state of Texas. The plaintiffs claimed that state laws requiring schools to supplement federal and state funding with funding from property taxes unfairly discriminated against students in school districts with lower property values. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that although poorer school districts had higher property taxes by percentage, wealthier school districts raised up to $585 per student through property taxes, whereas their poorer counterparts raised as low as $60 per student.

On December 23, 1971, the court ruled that financing public education based on property values discriminated against students in poorer school districts in violation of the Equal Protection Cause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The court enjoined the state from enforcing the state education finance laws, stayed the decision for two years to allow the state legislature to amend the laws and specifically noted that the state may not discriminate on the basis of wealth other than the wealth of the state as a whole. Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District, 337 F.Supp. 280 (W.D. Tex. 1971).

On March 21, 1973, however, The Supreme Court of the United States (Justice Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.) reversed the District Court's ruling, holding that the District Court improperly applied strict scrutiny to the Texas school financing statute because the affected class of students was not a suspect class, and the right to education was not a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Applying rational basis review, the Court upheld the school financing system because it had a rational relationship to the legitimate state interest of encouraging participation in and increasing local control over publicly funded schools. Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).

Joshua Arocho - 08/01/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
General
Funding
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Alamo Heights Independent School District
Bexar County School Trustees
San Antonio Independent School District
State of Texas
Plaintiff Description All children throughout Texas who live in school districts with low property valuations
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1973
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Litigation, Judicial Deference, and Policy Change
By: Richard A.L. Gambitta (University of Texas)
Citation: In Governing Through Courts 259 (Richard A.L. Gambitta, Marilynn L. May, & James C. Foster eds., Sage Publications 1980)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
[Order] 05/12/1969 (299 F.Supp. 476) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0001-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order (rev'd by SCOTUS) 12/23/1971 (337 F.Supp. 280) (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/07/1972 (406 U.S. 966)
ED-TX-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 10/10/1972 (409 U.S. 822)
ED-TX-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order 03/21/1973 (411 U.S. 1)
ED-TX-0001-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Petition for Rehearing Denied 04/23/1973 (411 U.S. 959)
ED-TX-0001-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Motion Denied 05/14/1973 (411 U.S. 980)
ED-TX-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Spears, Adrian Anthony (W.D. Tex.)
ED-TX-0001-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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