— from the Douglas County School District website (http://www.dcsdk12.org/portal/page/portal/DCSD)
Over the weekend, the Denver Post printed an editorial questioning the constitutional legitimacy of Douglas County School District’s Choice Scholarship Pilot Program.
The Douglas County School Board and the District’s administration believes strongly that the scholarship program is legal and plan to fight the challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Taxpayers for Public Education.
DCSD believes it is crucial to provide each and every student with the opportunity to find the educational niche that will help him or her learn best. The District embraces school choice by offering a wide variety of pathways to learning, including scholarships to private-partner schools that contract with and meet all DCSD conditions of eligibility, but also neighborhood schools, magnet, charter, online, home education and contract schools.
When DCSD created the Choice Scholarship Pilot Program it did so with great thought, extensive research and consideration. The District studied programs that have worked in other parts of the country, as well as here in Colorado.
Colorado Christian University v. Weaver
In 2008, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the state did not have an interest in discriminating against religious schools when providing student financial aid for higher education. The court ruled, despite Article 9, Section 7 of the Colorado Constitution, the financial aid could be used for any educational institution, regardless of any religious affiliation.
Choice Scholarship Pilot Program