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Consolidation of Paris School Districts?


PARIS - Trustees at the Paris ISD have formed a committee to address a possible consolidation among the city’s three school districts.

The Paris News reports that recent discussion by school officials had indicated the district is on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a real estate broker, and that there are few ways to generate more tax revenue with major industries located outside the district’s boundaries.

Board President George Fisher tells KXII-TV that a merger could help reduce the tax rate and create a more equitable system for students.

"What I would think it would do is to help us to build a broader school base to compete with other larger districts in the state of Texas," Fisher said.

Paris ISD is one of hundreds of Texas school districts participating in litigation against the state calling for equity in school funding and in property tax rates.

Reports show Fisher has received word from both North Lamar and Chisum districts, indicating they are not interested in consolidating. Still, he hopes officials from each side will come together to explore options.

Fisher added, "We were hoping that they would at least sit down and come to the table that we may at least look down the road further to see how we could do this if it came to that."

Texas Taxpayer Student Fairness Coalition:

The lawsuit, which accounts for more than 400 Texas school districts representing roughly 1.3 million students, aims to curb the inequities in the Texas school finance system. Districts across the state are receiving thousands less in funding per student compared to wealthier districts and claim the system is unconstitutional. The suit goes to trial Oct. 22. 

Red Apple Project has composed this list of who and which litigation they're participating in as of May 9. The Texas Tribune has put together this cheat sheet explaining the differences in the six school finance lawsuits that have been filed.