The political shockwave set off in Virginia is dominating today’s headlines, but it’s important to remember that there were other elections last night. One of them, from Colorado, should not be overlooked.
Tomorrow is election day in some parts of the country. Most political analysts are keeping a close eye on Virginia’s gubernatorial race, seeing it as a mini-referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.
But there are other interesting races as well. One of them is taking place in Douglas County, Colo., where a school board election has attracted national interest.
Yesterday Americans United asked a federal court in Colorado to dismiss an attempt by a pro-voucher group to circumvent the Colorado Supreme Court by filing a case in federal court. The plaintiffs are a group of Douglas County parents who argue that the district’s voucher plan, which applies only to secular schools, as mandated by the Colorado Supreme Court, violates the U.S. Constitution. But if you are thinking that this isn’t our first time addressing this issue in Colorado, you are right.
Americans United and allied groups have blocked an attempt to reinstitute a voucher plan in Douglas County, Colo.
In June 2015, Americans United and other groups successfully challenged the Douglas County School District’s so-called “Choice Scholarship Pilot Program” when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the ploy violated the Colorado Constitution because it improperly diverted public funds to private, religious schools.
DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU and the law firm Arnold & Porter — who successfully challenged a Douglas County school voucher program before the Colorado Supreme Court last year — filed motions yesterday challenging the validity of a new lawsuit that asks a federal district court to issue an unprecedented order that would require the Douglas County School District to divert taxpayer funds to religious schools.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applaud a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
The situation involving school vouchers in Douglas County, Colo., is a real disgrace.
The county school board was hijacked by a bloc of right-wing activists. They immediately began looking for ways to privatize public services. Someone got the bright idea that public schools would be a good place to start, and the board was off to the races.
A few months ago, I blogged about a Colorado public school district that was considering a voucher scheme that would allow some students to attend religious and other private schools.
I explained then that vouchers are a bad idea all around. Tuition subsidies for religious schools undermine church-state separation, hurt the public schools and have not improved student performance in places where they’ve been tried.