UTSA to host Superintendents Symposium on school finance March 18

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(March 17, 2014) -- In a symposium themed, "The State of Texas School Funding: 40 years After Rodriguez v. SAISD -- Progress or Peril?," the UTSA Center for Educational Leadership, Policy and Professional Development in the College of Education and Human Development will welcome Mike Moses, former Texas Commissioner of Education and former superintendent of Dallas Independent School District.

The event, which is open to the public, will begin with a reception at 5 p.m., March 18 in the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124) at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

The symposium will take a look at school finance since the 1971 landmark case in which Demetrio Rodriguez brought a class action suit against the state of Texas, saying the system of funding schools based on property taxes denied equal protection to students in poorer school districts. He won, but the Supreme Court later struck the decision down, determining that education is not a fundamental right.

"Texas school districts continue to struggle to help all students meet established state learning standards. While many argue that schools are inefficient, one only needs to look at the cost of a private education to determine what the market believes to be the cost of a 'quality education,'" Moses said.

David Hinojosa, regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund and litigator for various educational inequity cases, also will keynote at the symposium. A panel of area superintendents including Kevin Brown of Alamo Heights ISD, Saul Hinojosa of Somerset ISD, Linda McAnelly of Devine ISD and David Stelmazewski of Boerne ISD will also be present.

The UTSA Center for Educational Leadership, Policy and Professional Development focuses on creating a venue for educational leaders such as teachers, administrators and school board members to grow professionally and to find ways to improve academic achievement among students.

"We want to reach out to the community more than anything else," said Julian TreviƱo, the center's director and a senior lecturer at UTSA.