10th 2014
Can’t Contain My Excitement: Dougco Case Reaches Supreme Court Today

Posted under Courts & Denver & Independence Institute & Parents & Private Schools & School Board & School Choice & Suburban Schools

It’s days like today that bring home the fact little Eddie is sort of, well, unique. While I didn’t exactly hang my stocking by the chimney with care last night, or try to overcome insomnia with dreams of sugar plums (which are what exactly?), I have been looking forward to today with considerable excitement. Don’t get me wrong: Christmas will be great when it comes in a couple weeks, but there’s only one Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program hearing before the Colorado Supreme Court!

Today at 1:30 PM, to be exact. You can bet little Eddie and many of his bigger friends will be in the vicinity of Denver’s courthouse building. The Denver Post‘s Eric Gorski set the stage with an article earlier this week:

Oral arguments are set in a legal battle that began in 2011 after a newly elected conservative school board introduced a pilot voucher program in a wealthy county with strong public schools.

Opponents prevailed in Denver District Court in their initial legal challenge. But in February 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the Choice Scholarship Program, setting the stage for a showdown before the state’s highest court.

The word “showdown” conjures up mental images of some of those old black-and-white cowboy films my Gramps likes to watch with me. I don’t suspect the pro-school choice lawyers will be wearing big white 10-gallon hats or carrying six-shooters. Nor will there be any High Noon-style, spur-clanking duels on the downtown sidewalks. Fortunately, that’s not the way we resolve things anymore.

But sometimes, the thought is tempting, just to get it over with already. It’s been nearly 3 and a half years since the lawsuit was first filed: Can you believe it? There’s another unique aspect about yours truly. I was 5 years old then, and am still 5 now. Go figure!

Anyway, for those trying to keep tally, the score currently stands at 1-1. The anti-choice faction won a demoralizing victory in Denver District Court, displacing several hundred students just as the school year was about to begin. But then the pro-school choice team rallied for a complete reversal in the Court of Appeals in February 2013.

The stakes loom large, as Gorski’s article notes:

If the high court affirms the district-level voucher program in Douglas County, it would open the door to others at districts statewide.

Many parents and school leaders around Colorado (even in some other states) are watching closely. A Supreme Court ruling supportive of the Dougco program could empower other school boards to look at crafting more expansive school choice options suitable to their respective communities.

So maybe now you see why I’m so excited today. It’s not just for my Education Policy Center friends and all their hard work — including their well received amicus brief. Nor is it even just the voices of Dougco parents speaking out for school choice, as Castle Rock dad Aaron Johnson’s Sunday Post op-ed powerfully represents.

Those are terrific reasons, but it’s even bigger than that. It’s the hope that a positive ruling sometime in 2015 could open doors and break down more barriers in parts of Colorado and beyond, giving students and families access to more educational options than ever before. Power to the students and the parents!

So please understand me, and don’t take this the wrong way, when I proclaim today: See you in Court!


8 Responses to “Can’t Contain My Excitement: Dougco Case Reaches Supreme Court Today”

  1. CTBC on 10 Dec 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks to an excellent ruling by the Court of Appeals almost 2 years ago, the odds are good for a school choice victory:

  2. Ed is Watching » Important Scribbles: What Drawings May Say About Lives at Home on 11 Dec 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    [...] Unfortunately for you, faithful readers, I’m operating on a bit of a time crunch today. Because of that, we will forgo our usual lofty education discussion in favor of something a little different: Drawing. I can’t say I’m sad about the diversion; drawing happens to be one of my favorite pastimes. Besides, I’m sure you all need a break after yesterday’s very, very exciting event at the Colorado Supreme Court. [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » Justice’s Slow-Turning Wheel: CEA’s Opening Tenure Appeal Argument on 15 Dec 2014 at 10:30 am #

    [...] I told you last week about the Colorado Supreme Court hearing in the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » Eddie’s Top Posts of 2014: Part Two on 31 Dec 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    [...] I rounded out 2014 with a very cool education-policy fieldtrip to the Colorado Supreme Court, which is housed in what may very well be the shiniest building [...]

  5. Ed is Watching » Another Victory For Choice: Alabama’s STC Program Wins the Day on 03 Mar 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    [...] love to see choice win. In fact, I’m hoping that we will have a favorable ruling on the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program from the Colorado Supreme Court any day now. In the meantime, I’ll have to make due with another [...]

  6. Ed is Watching » Little Eddie’s WednesdayTriple Play: Dougco, School Choice, and Accountability on 15 Apr 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    [...] and Ross Izard in support of Douglas County’s local voucher program. I also spent some time pumping you up for oral arguments in the related Supreme Court case (no decision yet, I’m afraid), celebrating the district’s [...]

  7. Ed is Watching » Waiting for Dougco Choice Ruling? Florida, Kansas Serve Up Good News on 11 Jun 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    [...] Though often there’s a very good reason to pay close attention. Like six months ago, when I proclaimed my excitement that the landmark Douglas County school choice case finally reached a hearing at the Colorado [...]

  8. Ed is Watching » Dougco Decision Brings Good News and Bad on 29 Jun 2015 at 4:40 pm #

    [...] the Friedman Foundation and the Independence Institute way back in August of last year, and could barely contain myself during oral arguments before the Colorado Supreme Court last December. It’s been a very, very [...]

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