Photo: Latino Colorado Students Win in Court
On Friday, a state district court in Denver, Colorado ruled in favor of plaintiffs in the State’s first adequacy case, Lobato v. Colorado, a lawsuit in which MALDEF represented Colorado parents seeking adequate funding for at-risk and English Language Learner (“ELL”) students in the Colorado school system.
The plaintiffs originally filed the lawsuit in 2005 on behalf of parents and school districts, arguing that the State of Colorado had failed to adequately fund their education. MALDEF’s intervention in February 2010 focused on the inadequate funding for at-risk students and ELL students.
In its ruling, the court stated, “there is not enough money in the system to permit school districts across the State to properly implement standards-based education and to meet the requirements of state law and regulation. This is true for districts of every description – rural, suburban, urban and those with small or large student populations. There is not one school district that is sufficiently funded. This is an obvious hallmark of an irrational system.”
The court went on to state that “The problem has been compounded by the fact that during this same time Colorado and virtually every school district have experienced significant demographic changes, particularly in the number and concentrations of English language learners, ethnic minorities, and children of poverty.”