A Denver District Court judge Wednesday put on hold the Douglas County School District’s reworked voucher program.
The program, which was set to go into effect this fall, would have allowed up to 500 Douglas County students to attend non-religious private schools using tax dollars. The Choice Grant Program, as the district called it, was developed after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the district could not provide vouchers to its students to be used at religious schools.
“This is a victory for public schools in Douglas County and across Colorado,” Cindy Barnard, president of Taxpayers for Public Education, the group that filed the complaint against the voucher program, said in a statement Wednesday. “The DCSD voucher program hurts public school children because every dollar used in the voucher program is a dollar taken away from public schools.”
Douglas County school board member Doug Benevento said the school board was reviewing Chief Judge Michael Martinez’s decision but an appeal is likely.
“We still believe students deserve choice, and that parents should be in charge of their students’ education,” he said. “We remain undaunted in the pursuit of empowering parents to choose the best education for their children.”
Benevento did not know the exact number of students who had enrolled in the program but said it was a very small number.
“The threat of litigation had a chilling effect,” he said.