Betsy Crumbliss
Max Stieve
Case 1
San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
Argued: October 12, 1972
Decided: March 21, 1973
Background:
Rodriguez and fellow parents in the low-income area of Edgewood brought suit against the San Antonio Independent School District on behalf of school children who claimed to be part of low-income families. Rodriguez argues that residents of low-income areas who reside in school districts have a lower property tax base causing inequality throughout the school system. The appellees argue that the dependence on local property taxes for school funding favors the students in areas of higher-income. Appellees also dispute that the difference in property tax violates equal protection requirements under US Constitution Amendment 14.

Decision and Rationale:
The decision by the Supreme Court was to uphold the current system. The Texas system said that class or wealth cannot be the reason to question whether or not school district is poor or affluent. Basically it was found that there was no interfering with rights stated by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Just because some of the population can benefit more from the system than others doesn’t mean that there is a breach of their fundamental rights.

Impact on Teaching:
This just goes to show that as teachers we have to make the best out of what we have. The money for supplies, instructors, and upkeep of the schools in a district will not be uniform with other districts. Teachers have to overlook this issue and remember that teaching has to be a passion. Buildings may be outdated, books coming apart, desks fixed over time and time again but in the end we are there to impact the lives of our students and not complain about how the money is misappropriated. That’s a job for the local school board and other elected officials.

Applicable Quiz Question:
T/F: Rodriguez disputes that the difference in property tax violates equal protection requirements.