DPS Joins Plaintiffs in TABOR Lawsuit

Denver Board of Education members tonight (Sept. 15) voted unanimously to join the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to declare the TABOR amendment is unconstitutional, arguing it violates the rights of elected lawmakers to determine core functions of state government such as its budget.

“Public education is one of the most fundamental activities of our society and we are, by engaging in this lawsuit, stating it needs to be a core part of what we invest in and not part of what gets whittled away every year in every budget cycle,” said Board Vice President and former Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien.

“It’s incumbent upon the school board of Denver to make a statement about how important it is to try and change TABOR,” she added.

“The TABOR amendment has had a really serious impact on the functioning of government in Colorado,” Board Treasurer Mike Johnson said. “We are somewhere near 42nd (among all 50 states) in funding education, our higher ed funding is way down, we have serious deficiencies in transportation and a whole series of other state services …

“Given the state of education funding in particular in Colorado, we have to do whatever we can,” he added. “We are asking voters to approve more money for us this year and I believe that, if we didn’t have the restrictions of the TABOR amendment, we might not have to have done that.”

DPS will not incur any expenses as a plaintiff, the resolution states, since the case is being handled by attorneys on a pro bono basis, or without charge.

Read the full resolution.