School Choice & Charters

Colorado’s Pilot School Voucher Program Overturned by State’s High Court

By Arianna Prothero — June 29, 2015 1 min read

The Colorado Supreme Court has nixed the state’s only school voucher program, several local news outlets reported.

The court concluded that the program in Douglas County is unconstitutional because it allows public dollars to be used toward tuition at private, religious schools. The decision comes after a more than three-year legal battle over the fate of the small, single county-based pilot program.

Created in 2011, the Choice Scholarship Program would have given about 500 public school students in Douglas County as much as 75 percent of their per-pupil funding (which works out to be around $5,000 for the 2014-15 school year) to use toward tuition at a private school of their choice. Douglas County School District, located about 30 miles south of Denver, serves around 67,000 students.

A Denver district judge ruled in 2011 that the voucher program was unconstitutional, but then a state appeals court later reversed the decision in 2013.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.