MALDEF

MALDEF Enters Statewide Lawsuit to Address Inadequate Funding for English Learners and At-Risk Students

Colorado Parents Seek Better Facilities and Equal Educational Opportunities for Low Income Students and Children Learning English

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February 26, 2010 – Today, MALDEF filed legal papers on behalf of several Colorado families seeking to join the state school finance lawsuit, Lobato v. Colorado. The families seek a ruling that Colorado’s inadequate school funding for low income and English Language Learner students violates their rights under the Colorado Constitution. The parents and children represent different regions of the state, including Mapleton, Sheridan, Rocky Ford and Greeley.

“Colorado is raising the stakes for students and that’s a good thing,” said Nina Perales, Southwest Regional Counsel for MALDEF. “But you can’t continue to ratchet up the standards without providing children the resources to meet those standards,” continued Perales.

“This lawsuit seeks to repair the parts of the Colorado funding system that have no connection to the actual needs of the state’s most vulnerable children,” remarked David Hinojosa, MALDEF Senior Litigator and lead counsel for the Plaintiff-Intervenors. “English Language Learner and low income children can succeed if given the proper chance but Colorado has taken that away.”

The Lobato lawsuit was originally filed in Denver County District Court in 2005 by parents and school districts who argued that the State of Colorado had failed to adequately fund their education. MALDEF’s intervention focuses on the irrational and inadequate funding for at-risk students and English Language Learner students. MALDEF also seeks a declaration that funding for facilities in property-poor school districts is insufficient and that communities have been stripped of local control. This is the first statewide school adequacy lawsuit to be tried in Colorado.

A copy of the complaint in intervention can be found here.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund