PRO-CHOICE FOR EDUCATION WINS IN COLORADO

by michael on February 28, 2013

            A lot of folks purport to be pro-choice, but they are rather selective in their loyalty to the phrase. That’s human nature and there’s not a lot I can do about human nature today. Having said that, I bring attention to the huge pro-choice victory in Colorado in the realm of education. A snippet of school choice has been allowed to survive by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

In March 2011, the Douglas County Board of Education unanimously approved the groundbreaking pilot choice program. As enacted, the Board provided 500 students public scholarship funds to attend one of more than 20 private partner schools. Twenty-five percent of Per-Pupil Revenue would be retained to afford a fiscal benefit to the school district.

The Education Policy Center of the Independence Institute, based in Denver, Colorado, www.independenceinstitute.org,  has been instrumental in this significant victory. Here is the link to the news release. http://education.i2i.org/2013/02/appeals-court-panel-renews-dougco-families%E2%80%99-hopes/

This opinion from the Colorado Court of Appeals is good news, of course. In bluntest terms, the power of the teachers’ union is pitted against children seeking a better education. That this is an issue at all is, of course, a source of profound discontent that borders on the contemptible.

 Here is the full news release from the Independence Institute.

Appeals Court Panel Renews Douglas County Families’ Hopes

DENVER—The Independence Institute, Colorado’s leading pro-freedom policy voice, praised today’s decision to restore a groundbreaking school choice program previously struck down by a Denver judge.

The Colorado Court of Appeals today overturns an August 2011 ruling that permanently enjoined the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program. A majority of the three-judge panel ruled that plaintiffs “failed to carry their burden of proving the unconstitutionality of the CSP beyond a reasonable doubt” and that they lack standing to make their case.

(A copy of the opinion is posted at http://bit.ly/WjOq3S.)

“Today’s ruling is an important win for scholarship students and their families,” said Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno. “This opens the door to providing students with more educational opportunities.”

The Appeals Court ruling follows oral arguments presented November 19, 2012. Judges pressed attorneys from both sides, leaving doubt as to which arguments they might have accepted. Both sides have strongly indicated they would challenge an unfavorable ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“This decision vindicates the courage of the Douglas County school board and their constitutional authority to act on behalf of all students and families in their community,” Benigno said.

In March 2011, the Douglas County Board of Education unanimously approved the groundbreaking pilot choice program. As enacted, the Board provided 500 students public scholarship funds to attend one of more than 20 private partner schools. Twenty-five percent of Per-Pupil Revenue would be retained to afford a fiscal benefit to the school district.

Along with a number of local community members and school leaders, Benigno and senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow served on the Douglas County School Choice Task Force that helped to craft a number of district policy recommendations, including for the establishment of private school parental choice. DeGrow also is chairman of the Choice Scholarship School created in 2011 to implement the program.

The Independence Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Denver. Informational resources on the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program can be found at http://education.i2i.org/douglas-county-vouchers/

End

Congratulations to the Independence Institute for sustaining this long incremental and, for now, at least, successful journey.

More later

 

 

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