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Still Watching Colorado

December 27, 2011

Recently, I wrote a blog post about a court ruling in the case of Lobato v. Colorado, in which Judge Shelia Rappaport found that the state’s funding of public education was totally inadequate and irrational, and failed to meet the state’s constitutional requirement to provide a public education for Colorado children.

Today, the Colorado State Board of Education voted 4-3 to appeal that ruling.  One of the “no” votes came from Elaine Gantz Berman, who wrote about her perspective on the case for Education News Colorado.  In her guest post on their blog, I think she shows a common sense reaction to the ruling.  She writes,

I cannot come up with any reasonable rationale to defend the status quo of how we fund schools, and I believe the students of Colorado deserve a first class education system. Today, we do not have a first class education system in our state.

It’s my hope that this ruling will force the legislature and the governor to come up with a solution now – and not delay the important discussion. Since the solution must not harm other important existing programs – such as Medicaid, higher education, prisons and transportation – I can see no way around the fact that we need additional revenue to address our antiquated school funding model.

I encourage you to read the rest of her post, and hope that here in California, we’ll see similar leadership as our own education funding and equity cases move through the courts.  As I said in my prior post, it’s not that I like the idea of litigating these matters, but the state’s citizens and politicians don’t yet seem inclined to face up to the enormity of the problems and solve them.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper approved of the board’s decision to appeal the case, and issued a statement about the appeal and the ruling, raising issues of practicality and possible conflicts with other portions of the state constitution.

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