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COLORADO COURT DENIES STATE’S MOTION TO DISMISS SCHOOL FUNDING CASE
November 14, 2014
On November 12, 2014, the Denver District Court brought the State of Colorado one step closer to fulfilling the promise of increased per pupil education funding that Amendment 23 in the Colorado Constitution requires.
In Dwyer v. State of Colorado, the Court denied the State’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which means the Court will now hear and rule on the merits of whether the State has violated Amendment 23 by cutting K-12 education by $1 billion each of the last four years. Added to the constitution by the voters in 2000, Amendment 23 requires the state to adjust annually the statewide base per pupil funding proportional to the rate of inflation.
On hearing the news, lead plaintiff Lindi Dwyer said, “This is a good start and a good day for Colorado. The voters made a promise in 2000 that the state would increase funding and provide educational opportunities to all students. The promise is in our constitution and today takes us one step closer to fulfilling that promise.”
Judge Herbert Stern, III ruled that, “Amendment 23 prescribes minimum increases for state funding of education.”
As explained by the plaintiffs’ counsel, the Dwyer suit “alleges that the General Assembly violated Amendment 23 by slashing education funding by over a billion dollars through a gimmick the State calls the Negative Factor.” In 2010, the legislature adopted the negative factor in a statute in an attempt to override its Amendment 23 responsibilities.
“Keep the Promise” to Fund Schools as Colorado’s Constitution Requires
Kathy Gebhardt, Children’s Voices:
Timothy Macdonald, Arnold & Porter, LLP:
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