Colorado Defendants Will Appeal Loboto Plaintiff Decision

Last Updated: February 23, 2012

This article appeared in the February 2012 Rural Policy Matters.

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Despite being urged otherwise by education stakeholders in the state, the Colorado State Board of Education has decided to appeal District Court Judge Shelia Rappaport’s ruling that the school funding formula is unconstitutional. (Read coverage of the decision in the December 2011 RSFN here.) Governor John Hickenlooper had already announced he would appeal the decision and the office of the Colorado Attorney General confirmed the filing on behalf of both Hickenlooper and the Board of Education. Judge Rappaport stayed her decision for one year to give Colorado legislators an opportunity to carry out the ruling during the 2012 session, but there is speculation that the appeal will prove to be a disincentive for lawmakers to act to create a new funding system.

Kathleen Gebhardt, lead attorney on the case and Rural School and Community Trust Board Member, said the appeal prolongs repairs and short-changes students: “The state is fully aware that too few students are graduating, that student achievement has remained flat for years and that achievement gaps based on race and income are among the largest in the nation.” She added: “None of this will change while state lawyers roll the dice on this appeal and delay the discussion that’s required.”

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Local coverage:

Response to the appeal announcement by Great Schools Colorado, an advocacy group supporting the litigation:

Read more from the February 2012 Rural Policy Matters.