NEWS: Judge Halts Douglas County Voucher Law

From The Denver Post:


A judge on Friday put a stop to Douglas County School District’s voucher program — at least for now — leaving hundreds of students who had enrolled in private schools scrambling for alternatives as the new school year is about to begin.

In a 68-page decision, Denver District Judge Michael A. Martinez issued a permanent injunction of the Douglas County district’s pilot Choice Scholarship Program.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and other Douglas County residents filed a lawsuit against the district. In it, they said the voucher program violates the state constitution because taxpayer money was going to private and religious schools.

The group asked for an injunction to halt the program until the broader legal questions are settled.

“The prospect of having millions of dollars of public school funding diverted to private schools, many of which are religious and lie outside of the Douglas County School District, creates a sufficient basis to establish standing for taxpayers seeking to ensure lawful spending of these funds,” Martinez wrote in his ruling.

The lawsuit was filed in Denver because the State Board of Education and the Colorado Department of Education, both located in the city, are co-defendants in the suit.

Douglas County school officials said they will comply with the judge’s ruling as they continue to fight the issue in court.

“The court’s ruling today limits the opportunity for Douglas County parents to determine the best school fit for their children,” school board president John Carson said. “This ruling is not what the people of Douglas County wanted or what we know is in the best interest of our students.”


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