State Actions and Responses
Adams County School District 14 has defeated the Colorado State Board of Education's historic attempt to reorganize the district.
In May 2022, the Colorado State Board of Education took a first-of-its-kind action to force the Adams County School District 14 into reorganization along with Mapleton Public Schools, Adams 12 Five Star Schools and 27J Schools. The elected boards of education in each of the neighboring school districts, the Adams County Board of Commissioners and numerous organizations unanimously approved formal resolutions in support of Adams 14 and opposing reorganization. Despite the collective opposition and concern of Adams County elected officials and educators, the state board still ordered reorganization.
In a process that lasted nearly a year, culminating on Aug. 11, 2023, when the Reorganization Committee (comprised of members of each school district) voted 10-0 in favor of approving a report instead of a formal plan of reorganization, recommending the reorganization is not a viable option for any of the districts involved; one committee member abstained from voting.
The committee submitted the report for review to Education Commissioner Susana Cordova, who accepted the committee’s recommendation to end the reorganization process on Thursday evening. Read the letter Cordova sent to Adams 14 on Aug. 31, 2023, in English or Spanish.
“Colorado’s School District Reorganization Act is an outdated, unproven process that does not work and has no place in the accountability system,” said Reneé Lovato, the president of the Adams 14 Board of Education and chair of the Reorganization Committee. “It did nothing except instill fear and uncertainty among our students, staff and community.”
“Our collective work and collaboration in support of our students will lead to true improvement. We sincerely thank those State Board members who knew the folly of this punitive action and stood with Adams 14. We thank Commissioner Cordova for her thoughtful consideration and decision,” Lovato said.
Adams 14 Superintendent Dr. Karla Loría stated, “We thank the other three school districts for showing the State Board that Adams County fights for each other. It is our fervent hope that the State Board will stop taking negative actions against Adams 14 and allow us to focus on our students.”
Dr. Loría held a press conference on Wednesday, celebrating the latest performance framework ratings from the Colorado Department of Education. The 2022-2023 school year report showed several of Adams 14’s schools had notable academic improvement, and the school district itself improved its state accountability rating.
“Adams 14 schools are the center of this community,” said Adams 14 Board of Education Secretary María Zubia. “Our district survives. Our district will thrive.”
Adams 14 is committed to moving forward and will continue to focus on improving the educational experience of all our students with the support of students, parents and the community. Together, we will continue to thrive and confidently write our own history.
Letter to Parents, Guardians and Staff Members (March 2022)
As you are well aware, our district has engaged in continued discussion with the Colorado Department of Education and State Board of Education regarding our state accountability status involving the district, as well as that of two of our schools – Central Elementary School and Adams City High School.
As an extension of that process, the State Board of Education mandated that a State Review Panel facilitated by an external company conduct a review of the district as well as its individual schools last month. The report stemming from that review was released on March 15, 2022. The Spanish version was released on March 24.
In an effort for full transparency, Adams 14 has created this webpage to include the state's report, the Adams 14 rebuttal, and other important materials that may be of interest to the community.
If you have any questions regarding these documents and Adams 14's next steps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adams 14 Response to the Court's Ruling
On February 14, 2022, the District filed a First Amended Complaint alleging that the State Board of Education is violating the District’s constitutional and statutory rights. The District filed its complaint with the Court before the April 14, 2022 hearing under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). The purpose for filing with the Court before April 14, 2022, was to see whether the Court would agree that the District is being irreparably harmed by the State Board of Education, and to seek an order from the Court to stop the State Board of Education’s conduct before the April 14, 2022 hearing.
The State filed a motion to dismiss the District’s complaint claiming that: 1) the District could not allege constitutional violations against the State Board of Education; 2) the District could not bring a case against the State Board of Education because, it claimed, the State Board of Education is “superior” to the District (known as the “political subdivision doctrine”); 3) the APA does not apply to the State Board of Education; and 4) the District cannot prove it is being irreparably harmed right now.
In a carefully written decision, the Court held that the District’s could not bring constitutional claims under the U.S. and Colorado constitutions claiming due process violations. But, the Court also held that the District has the right to bring other claims against the State Board of Education under the APA. In particular, the Court rejected the State Board of Education’s argument that the District is prohibited from bringing any claim because the State Board of Education is the “superior” government agency. Yet, because the Court ruled that the APA applies to the State Board of Education, the Court agreed with the District that the District can sue the State Board of Education under the APA.
Turning to the remaining claims under the APA, the Court stated that the District cannot show irreparable harm at this time. The Court instructed the District to complete the hearing process and await a final order from the State Board of Education. Then, the District will be able to bring its APA claims against the State Board of Education. The Court listed out the District’s claims and, if proven true, how each of those claims, based on the State Board of Education’s alleged conduct, would violate the APA.
With the Court ruling that the APA applies to the State Board of Education, the District will move forward to the April 14, 2022 hearing. The District will fight to ensure that the full protections of the APA apply to the District.
- Colorado Education Commissioner Susana Córdova's letter stating Adams 14 will no longer face reorganization (English)
- Colorado Education Commissioner Susana Córdova's letter stating Adams 14 will no longer face reorganization (Spanish)
- Adams 14 Reorganization Committee: November 2022 (English)
- Adams 14 Reorganization Committee: November 2022 (Spanish)
- State Review Panel Report (English)
- State Review Panel Report (Spanish)
- State Review Panel Report on Central Elementary School (English)
- State Review Panel Report on Central Elementary School (Spanish)
- Adams 14 Rebuttal to State Review Panel Report (English)
- Adams 14 Rebuttal to State Review Panel Report (Spanish)
- Letter Sent to Adams 14 Staff (English and Spanish)
Orders | Notices
- Order Amending 2018 Order: May 2022 (English)
- Order Amending 2018 Order: May 2022 (Spanish)
- Motion to Reinstate Adams 14 Accreditation (Sept. 7, 2022)
- CDE Reorganization Committee Notice - Oct. 17, 2022 (English)
- CDE Reorganization Committee Notice - Oct. 17, 2022 (Spanish)