Lobato vs. Colorado: John Suthers, Colo. Attorney General, Appeals Judge's Funding Decision
On Monday, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers filed an appeal of Denver District Judge Sheila Rappaport's landmark ruling on school funding in the Lobato v. State of Colorado case, 9News reports.
There were several reasons Suthers' office claims that Rappapport's decision was in error, but one of the main concerns Suthers had was with the judge's exclusion of allowing the state to use the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) in its defense of how it funds education. TABOR restricts revenues for all levels of government (including schools) and requires a public vote for tax increases.
However, before the case started, Rappaport had ruled that TABOR would not be considered in the Lobato case, according to Education News Colorado.
Judge Rappaport issued the landmark 186-page ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the Lobato case, concluding the state's education funding is not "thorough and uniform," and therefore unconstitutional. In her ruling, Rappaport went so far as to say the system is "unconscionable," according to a report by the Denver Post.
The Lobato lawsuit does not seek a specific sum of money, but does estimate that Colorado is underfunding its educational system by $4 billion, writes KDVR. State officials have been worried that declaring the state's education funding system unconstitutional could force the state to spend most of its general fund on education, when it already spends over 40 percent on it.
In December 2011, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that the state would appeal the judge's decision, Education News Colorado reported. Then just days after Hickenlooper's announcement, the Colorado State Board of Education also voted 4-3 to appeal the judge's decision.
For a more detailed view into the Lobato case, visit Education News Colorado's Lobato Case Coverage.