By WILL WEISSERT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A judge overseeing the Texas school finance trial is set to hear new testimony on whether more money and fewer standardized tests have adequately improved the balance for students in rich and poor areas.
Nearly a year ago, Judge John Dietz ruled the system Texas uses to finance public education is unconstitutional.
During the second round of the trial, Dietz is weighing whether actions the Texas Legislature took this past summer will alter his February 2013 decision. Testimony is expected to last at least three weeks.
Lawmakers increased funding for schools by $3.4 billion, a rate far lower than the increase Dietz had suggested. They also cut the number of standardized tests students must pass to graduate high school from a nation-leading 15 to five.
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