Lt. Gov.: Inequities Exist In Education

Joe Garcia Defends Colorado's School Funding System

Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia acknowledged that inequities exist in education but says the state has met its constitutional obligation in how it funds its schools.

Garcia took the stand Wednesday as the government's first witness in a lawsuit challenging Colorado's education funding system. Garcia says he favors giving schools more resources but that additional funding alone won't produce better results.

Lobato v. State of Colorado was filed in June 2005. The plaintiffs claim the Colorado Legislature's method of funding schools violates the state constitution's promise to provide a "thorough and uniform" education system. The lawsuit claims students in the poorest communities are not receiving an appropriate education.

In 2011-12, the state plans to spend $2.8 billion on K-12 education. That's 40 percent of the state's $7 billion general fund budget.

State officials, including Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, insist the state cannot afford to spend as much as plaintiffs want on schools. Officials point out that Colorado more than doubled spending on public education since 1994.

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