San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez
411 U.S. 1 (1973)
Texas funded their public
schools with property taxes. They gave each school funding based on the
amount of property taxes collected in that school district.
This meant that schools in
poor communities with low property values and a corresponding low
property tax bas received less money per student than schools in rich
communities with high property taxes.
A group of parents in a poor
community sued, claiming that the apportionment was a violation of the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th
Amendment because it unconstitutionally discriminated on the
basis of wealth.
The Trial Court found the law
to be unconstitutional. Texas appealed.
The Trial Court found that
education was a fundamental right,
and therefore the Texas law should be subject to strict
The US Supreme Court found the
Texas apportionment to be constitutional.
The US Supreme Court found
that there is no fundamental right
to education, nor were poor people a suspect class.
Therefore, the Texas law
only had to pass rational basis
The Court found that Texas'
plan was rationally related to a legitimate State interest, and was
The State interest was the
desire to have local control over schools.