Front Range

School Days

September 2012

This school year, the state Supreme Court is expected to consider whether Colorado’s public education system is “thorough and uniform,” a phrase embedded in the state constitution. Seven years ago, a group of parents and school districts argued that the state is not delivering on that phrase, and ever since, Lobato v. Colorado has worked its way through the legal system. Of course, the biggest issue is money: Nearly two-thirds of Colorado’s $5.3 billion in K–12 funding comes from the state. That figure is about $3 billion short, say the plaintiffs, making it impossible for schools to provide “thorough and uniform” education. Regardless of the decision, the case has compelled lawmakers to take a hard look at how public schools are funded and how they serve students. The question is: How do we make the system better?