Davis calls for settlement in school finance suit - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Davis calls for settlement in school finance suit

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Democratic candidate for Governor Wendy Davis blamed her Republican rival Greg Abbott Monday for not resolving the long running school finance lawsuit. She wants him to make a settlement and help organize a Legislative Special Session, but the Texas Constitution may make it difficult to comply with that request.

State Senator Wendy Davis used the ACC Rio Grande campus to launch her latest campaign attack against Attorney General Greg Abbott.

"I'm calling on him today to settle this case," said Davis.

This challenge comes a few days after a re-hearing of the equity funding lawsuit wrapped up. District judge john Dietz had already declared the education funding process in Texas was unconstitutional but he called attorneys back to determine if recent funding increases and reforms approved by the state legislature should change his mind.

Six hundred school districts filed the lawsuit in 2011, although Davis Monday morning wanted to blame Abbott.

"He is wasting time and taxpayer money on a frivolous lawsuit that hurts Texas."

Davis was pressed for details about how Abbott, as Attorney General, could settle the long running lawsuit.

"A recommendation to convene the legislature in order to work on that funding system is a very important part in settling this lawsuit, and dedicating the resources to return to Texas classrooms the teenagers that have been lost is a hugely important part of that."

Making that happen is easier said than done. The state constitution does not allow an attorney general to appropriate money or call a special session. When pressed about that, Davis said Abbott, as the state's legal counsel could provide lawmakers with some legal advice.

Earlier this year during a campaign stop Abbott said his education reform plan is focused more on accountability than dollars.

In a statement released Monday Abbott said:

"That means more than ensuring the Texas education system is adequately funded. It means empowering teachers, principals and parents with the tools to truly educate our children. It means returning genuine local control to school districts rather than continuing with the centralized control by bureaucrats in Austin."

A final ruling from Judge Dietz may come in March about the same time Davis and Abbott will try to lock down their party's nomination. With the ruling expected to be appeal to the Texas Supreme Court by the losing side education could help make the summer campaign even hotter.

In another hot topic item, Senator Davis tried to clarify her recent comment about supporting controversial gun legislation called- open carry. Davis said she does support allowing people to walk around with a gun holstered at the hip, but only if cities and colleges are given an opt-out clause in the law.

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