AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas school finance lawsuits are set to go to trial Oct. 22.

State District Judge John Dietz signed an order Monday establishing the tentative trial date.

Four lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of school districts statewide have been filed in response to school finance legislation passed by the Texas Legislature last summer. They charge that the way Texas distributes funding to school districts is inadequate and inequitable.

Dietz, who handled school finance lawsuits in 2004, has consolidated the cases. Some charter schools, as well as a group of parents arguing that Texas schools are inefficient, have also sought to intervene as part of the suits.

Legal fights over Texas school finance have raged for decades. The current suits are the eighth round of litigation filed in the state since 1968.

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