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Texas school finance system ruled illegal

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A Texas judge Wednesday declared the state's school finance system unconstitutional and gave the governor and state legislators a year to fix the system.

Judge John Dietz said the state needs to put more money into public schools and relieve school districts of leaning too much on property taxes, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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"I am abundantly optimistic that the people of Texas are willing to pay the price and make the sacrifice (for the increased cost of education)," he said.

More than 300 school districts filed the lawsuit against the so-called "Robin Hood" system, that requires property rich districts to share with less wealthy districts.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the ruling would be immediately appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, which will have the final say on the legality of the system.

Gov. Rick Perry called a 30-day special session to deal with the school crisis earier this year, but legislators were unable to agree on a solution.

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