The Colorado Supreme Court in a 4-2 decision (one Justice abstaining) overturned the Denver District Court in the K-12 school funding case, Lobato v. Colorado. The Court held:
The public school financing system enacted by the General Assembly complies with the Colorado Constitution. It is rationally related to the constitutional mandate that the General Assembly provide a “thorough and uniform” system of public education. Colo. Const. art. IX, § 2 (the “Education Clause”). It also affords local school districts control over locally-raised funds and therefore over “instruction in the public schools.” Colo. Const. art. IX, § 15 (the “Local Control Clause”). As such, the trial court erred when it declared the public school financing system unconstitutional. We accordingly reverse.
The relationship between the citizens of Colorado and their state government would have been changed profoundly, and for the worse, if this case had gone the other way. If that had happened the teachers’ unions would have got even more power and even more ability to suck up more and more money from the taxpayers. Ironically, the quality of K-12 education would also have suffered, something that it cannot afford given that it’s already awful. Perhaps this decision will help more people see the truth about K-12 funding in Colorado, namely that there is an inverse proportional relationship between the level of funding and the quality of K-12 education in Colorado.
The plaintiffs who lost the case are claiming this is a blow to the children. Bull. This case was never about the children. It was always about the teachers and the administrators. It’s a blow to them, and a richly deserved one.
Justices Rice, Coats, Eid and Boatright in the majority, Bender and Hobbs dissented. Opinion by Rice. Justice Marquez abstained.