Taxpayers for Public Education to appeal Court of Appeals decision.
Fight Now Heads to Colorado State Supreme Court
A divided panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals today voted 2 to 1 to reverse a trial court injunction against the voucher program instituted by the Douglas County School District (DCSD). In a lengthy and strongly-worded dissenting opinion, Judge Steve Bernard disagreed with the ruling; Judge Bernard argued that the voucher program violates the "no aid to sectarian schools" provision of the Colorado Constitution (Art. IX sec. 7) because the program transfers "public funds to private religious elementary, middle and high schools."
Taxpayers for Public Education (TFPE), one of the plaintiffs that sued DCSD to enjoin the voucher program, plans to appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. “We are disappointed but not discouraged,” says Anne Kleinkopf, one of the directors of Taxpayers for Public Education. “The arc of history is long but it bends toward justice. The arc of this case now bends toward the Colorado Supreme Court; and we are certain that the Supreme Court will rule, as the trial court did, that the DCSD voucher program is illegal, unconstitutional and deeply unjust.”
The voucher program takes monies appropriated by the Colorado State Legislature for the public school children of Colorado and gives those monies to private, primarily religious schools for the education of a select group of children in Douglas County, the wealthiest county in Colorado.
The voucher program has been controversial and unpopular from the start. Cindy Barnard, President of TFPE, said, "The public did not ask for the voucher program and the School District’s own survey shows the majority of Douglas County families are against it. The public wants the District to turn its attention to educating the majority, and not waste time and money on a program that will serve only a very few.”