August 1, 2011
the Lobato v. Colorado educational opportunity case began with
opening arguments in the state District Court in Denver. The trial is scheduled
for a content- and witness-packed five weeks. View videos from today's
Follow the trial on
Plaintiffs say they will prove that the State
is not providing the resources necessary for a "thorough and uniform system" of
public education, as guaranteed by the Colorado Constitution. Instead, the lack of resources
guarantees failure, plaintiffs said. They will ask the court to order the
legislative and executive branches to remedy the problem.
Defendants will argue that the finance system is OK and ask the court to refrain
from issuing an order.
Plaintiffs are students and their parents and 119 Colorado school districts.
Defendants are the State, the state board of education, the education commissioner,
and the governor. The attorney general represents the state defendants.
A combination of pro bono attorneys and law firms represent the original plaintiffs. Kathleen
Gebhardt of Children's Voices, Kenzo Kanawabe of Davis Graham & Stubbs,
and Alex Halpern of Alexander Halpern are lead counsel for plaintiffs, and
lawyers from DGS, Faegre & Benson, Greenburg Traurig, The Harris Law
Firm, Holland & Hart, Perkins Coie, Reilly Pozner, and Snell & Wilmer
will handle various aspects of the case.
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) represents plaintiff
intervenors, who are additional students and parents concerned about opportunities
and missing resources for low-wealth students and students learning English.
For more background, see: Lawsuits
in Other States, Denver Post, and One
of 119 Plaintiff School Districts, Craig Daily Press