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Denver District Court Order

Denver District Court Order

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DISTRICT COURT, DENVER COUNTY, COLORADO
 
Denver City and County Building1437 Bannock St.Denver, Colorado 80202
 
COURT USE ONLY
 
Plaintiffs:
ANTHONY LOBATO, et al., and
 
Plaintiff-Intervenors:
ARMANDINA ORTEGA, et al.
 
v.
 
Defendants:
THE STATE OF COLORADO, et al.
 Case No. 2005CV4794Div. 424
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
 
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................1FINDINGS OF FACT....................................................................................................................1I. PARTIES............................................................................................................................1A. Individual Plaintiffs...............................................................................................1B. School District Plaintiffs........................................................................................4C. Plaintiff-Intervenors………..................................................................................4D. Defendants..............................................................................................................8II. A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC EDUCATION..................8A.
 
The Importance of a Public Education................................................................8B.
 
The Meaning of a Thorough and Uniform System of Public Education........10C.
 
Education Reform: HB 93-1313 and the Inception of Standards-Based Education...................................................................................................12D.
 
Education Reform: The Expansion of Content Standards andAssessments..........................................................................................................15E.
 
Education Reform: School District Accountability and Accreditation.........15F.
 
Education Reform: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001............................17G.
 
Education Reform: The Preschool to Postsecondary EducationAlignment Act (CAP4K)......................................................................................20H.
 
Education Reform: The Education Accountability Act of 2009.....................25I.
 
Education Reform: The Educator Effectiveness Act of 2010(SB 10-191)............................................................................................................29J.
 
Summary...............................................................................................................29III. THE PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE SYSTEM............................................................30A.
 
The Public School Finance Act of 1994: Total Program Funding..................30B.
 
The Public School Finance Act of 1994: State and Local Share.....................32C.
 
The Public School Finance Act of 1994: Override Mill Levies.......................32D.
 
Categorical Program Funding............................................................................34E.
 
Capital Construction Funding; Bonded Indebtedness.....................................34F.
 
Declining Enrollment...........................................................................................35G.
 
 
Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES)......................................35IV. ANALYSIS OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SCHOOL FINANCESYSTEM AND A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLICEDUCATION...................................................................................................................35V. UNDERFUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION...........................................................40A.
 
The APA Study: General....................................................................................40B.
 
The APA Study: The Successful School District Approach............................42C.
 
The APA Study: The Professional Judgment Approach................................42D.
 
The APA Study: Conclusions.............................................................................43
 
 ii
E.
 
Costing-out Estimates by Voreta Herrmann.....................................................45F.
 
Underfunding of the Colorado Department of Education...............................45G.
 
Gifts, Grants and Donations...............................................................................46H.
 
CAP4K Funding...................................................................................................48I.
 
SB 191 Funding....................................................................................................48VII. SCHOOL FUNDING LEVELS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ONEDUCATIONAL QUALITY..........................................................................................49VIII. COLORADO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ...............................................................54A.
 
Student Achievement Levels...............................................................................55B.
 
Achievement Gap.................................................................................................56C.
 
Graduation Rates.................................................................................................57D.
 
Post-secondary and College Readiness..............................................................57IX. FACTORS THAT IMPACT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.......................................59A.
 
Plaintiffs’ Expert Witness, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond...............................59B.
 
Teacher Quality....................................................................................................60C.
 
Professional Development...................................................................................62D.
 
Class Size...............................................................................................................64X. LOCAL CONTROL OF INSTRUCTION....................................................................65XI. SPECIAL STUDENT POPULATIONS: EARLY CHILDHOODEDUCATION...................................................................................................................65A.
 
Trial Witnesses.....................................................................................................65B.
 
Impacts of Preschool Education.........................................................................66C.
 
Characteristics of Effective Preschool Programs..............................................68D.
 
Colorado’s Preschool Program...........................................................................69E.
 
Full-Day Kindergarten........................................................................................74F.
 
Early Childhood Conclusions and Recommendations.....................................76XII. SPECIAL STUDENT POPULATIONS: SPECIAL EDUCATION..........................77A. Plaintiffs’ Witnesses.............................................................................................77B. Background..........................................................................................................78C. Special Education Funding.................................................................................80D. Achievement of Students with Disabilities.........................................................84E. State and District Compliance with IDEA Requirements................................85F. Response to Intervention.....................................................................................87G. Personnel Shortages.............................................................................................87H. Charter Schools....................................................................................................88I. CDE Support........................................................................................................88J. Other Special Needs Issues..................................................................................88XIII. SPECIAL STUDENT POPULATIONS: GIFTED AND TALENTEDEDUCATION...................................................................................................................89

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