A Tale of Two Outcomes: Storytelling in Lobato v. State
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This article analyzes school finance litigation through the lens of storytelling and narrative theory. This article connects storytelling scholarship and school finance litigation scholarship through the analysis of one case, Lobato v. State, in which school districts, students, and parents challenged the constitutionality of Colorado’s school finance system. This article analyzes the plaintiffs’ case, the trial court decision, and the Colorado Supreme Court opinion through the lens of narrative theory. It concludes that when compelling stories are told in school finance cases, plaintiffs will prevail. Moreover, it asserts that when courts ignore the call of plaintiffs’ stories, and thus find against them, such stories can still make a difference; the stories can become part of the larger public dialogue and engender real and concrete systemic changes.