Denver Judge’s “Unconscionable” ruling that Colorado Constitution requires DOUBLING school funding
“Unconscionable”? What this Denver Judge did was unconscionable. Legislatures have the responsibility to allocate taxpayer funding, not Judges. But that did not slow District Judge Sheila Rappaport down.
In a 183-page ruling, she claims that the state’s school-funding system “is not rationally related to the mandate to establish and maintain a thorough and uniform system of free public schools,” as required by the Colorado Constitution. “It is also apparent that increased funding will be required,” Rappaport wrote, calling the current funding system “unconscionable.”
Lawyers for the state, represented by Attorney General John Suthers’ office, argued that the question of how much should be spent on education should be left to the legislature and voters. They also said more money alone is not necessarily the solution to better schools.
“The court clearly invited an appeal, and we believe an appeal is likely,” spokesman Mike Saccone said. “It was clearly very tempting for the District Court judge to wade into what is a public policy debate.”
To put this in perspective, of the 2010-11 Colorado budget of nearly $7 Billion, we spend $3.2 Billion – over 40 percent – on K-12 schools. This ruling could demand that we increase funding by up to $4 Billion – which would consume MORE THAN 100% OF THE STATE BUDGET!
That means no State Police, no state roads, no Medicare. In fact, no money to pay this judge’s salary. Unless we raise taxes by 75%, which is obviously what Judge Rappaport desires.
But shouldn’t that be a decision by the People and their Legislative Representatives, rather than one un-elected Judge?