Effecting successful suburban school reform poses an authentic challenge. Many students do well compared to their peers in neighboring districts, but overall test scores conceal shortcomings. The U.S. spends more per person on education than any other country, yet even middle-class students academically lag their peers in other countries. The fast-growing Douglas County School District (DCSD) south of Denver, Colorado, has attempted a different approach to aim higher.
Institute for Justice senior attorney Dick Komer presented to private school leaders, scholarship organizations, and policymakers on the legal challenges and opportunities associated with establishing a K-12 scholarship tax credit program
As Douglas County leaders continue charting the nation’s boldest course for local education innovation, political foes have taken the fight to a different front. Charges against the reform-minded school board fail in the light of truth but have the chance to catch on with many voters.
James Coleman discusses ACE Scholarships’ work to provide more opportunities to students and to build parent engagement, as well as how a tax credit program like other states have could encourage more scholarship donations.
Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno discusses the case for scholarship tax credits in Colorado as a way to give low- and middle-income students more educational options.
In a Washington Post article about the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Douglas County’s Choice Scholarship Program, Associated Press writer Steven Paulson quoted the Education Policy Center director’s reaction to the welcome news
Charcie Russell from Great Choice Douglas County discusses last week’s good news from the Colorado Court of Appeals that gives hope for more educational options to students and families through the school district’s innovative Choice Scholarship Program.
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.
Scholarship tax credits increase the opportunity for K-12 students to access non-public educational options. Such a tax code modification increases the incentive for persons and businesses to contribute funds to qualified non-profit scholarship granting organizations. In turn, the organizations use most of the incoming funds to assist low- and middle-income families with private school tuition expenses. Colorado policymakers should give careful consideration to providing many of the state’s families an important benefit through the adoption of scholarship tax credits.
On November 19, the Colorado Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case of Larue v Colo State Board of Education. At issue is the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program, unanimously adopted by the school board in March 2011, which allowed up to 500 students greater access to private education options. Cautious optimism awaits a decision coming in “due course,” probably in early 2013.