Updated Colorado Attorney General John Suthers Monday filed the formal notice of the state’s appeal of the Lobato decision with the Colorado Supreme Court.

Suthers listed 14 possible issues that may be raised on appeal. They include whether Denver District Judge Sheila Rappaport erred in “declaring the state public school finance system unconstitutional” and erred in excluding some of the state’s proposed defenses, including consideration of multiple constitutional provisions, not just the “thorough and uniform” education clause.

Other possible issues listed including the standing of plaintiffs to sue, whether school funding is an appropriate area for court rulings and whether Rappaport erred in excluding the testimony of former legislator and school finance expert Norma Anderson.

The plaintiffs were predictably critical of the filing. Kathleen Gebhardt, lead attorney in the case, said, “‘All of the state’s bases for appeal are technical arguments that do not speak to whether students are getting a constitutionally adequate education. In addition, the state’s appeal does not seek guidance on how to solve the revenue implications of the district court’s decision, which was its stated justification for the costly and time consuming appeal.”

Much of the appeal notice is legal boilerplate. The state’s full appeal brief isn’t due until June 4, and Suthers recently told legislators he expects the appeals process to take a year (see story).

Read the appeal notice, and get background in the EdNews Lobato archive.

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Bills are starting to stack up on legislative committee agendas this week.

The biggest education bill on the docket is Senate Bill 12-015, the proposal to create a new class of college tuition for undocumented students. It’s up for consideration by the Senate Education Committee Thursday afternoon.

House Education has five bills on its calendar Wednesday, including House Bill 12-1072, which would assign the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to develop criteria for awarding college credit for a student’s prior learning through work experience, military service, community involvement or independent study.

What’s on tap:

Get the week’s full legislative calendar here.


The Aurora Public Schools Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 1085 Peoria St. Watch the agenda page for details when they are posted.

The Boulder Valley School District Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. at district headquarters, 6500 Arapahoe St. Agenda


The state Capital Construction Assistance Board meets starting at 1 p.m. at 1560 Broadway, suite 1175.

Douglas County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen kicks off a series of 2012 “telephone town halls,” aimed at providing district updates directly to the community. Participants can submit questions during the meetings, which begin at 6 p.m. Nine meetings are scheduled, from Jan. 25 through June 13. To participate, call  877-228-2184, and entering the passcode 19350. Learn more.


Jefferson County school board members will host community budget forums from 9 – 10:30 a.m. at Arvada, Columbine, Evergreen, Ralston Valley and Bear Creek high schools to gather public input. All interested community members are invited to attend. The district is conservatively planning on $70 million in cuts over the next two years and the Citizens’ Budget Advisory Council has developed a prioritized list of suggestions for cuts. Board members will have the final say. More info.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell announced a series of proposed reforms including elimination of teacher tenure and students taking one online course to graduate, the Washington Post reports.

School funding lawsuits in Colorado, Texas and Washington highlight the political and ideological divides over school funding, with some governors and lawmakers choosing to balance budgets by making deep cuts in spending-including for K-12—rather than raise taxes. An overview in Education Week.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.