The Texas Constitution establishes public education through Article VII, Section 1, which states:
A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preserva- tion of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient sys- tem of public free schools.
Since 1989, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled seven times on school finance. In the process, the Court has laid out four tests that the system must fulfill in order to be constitutional. These are illus- trated in Figure 1 and are explained in detail in Texas School Finance: Basics and Reform.