June 29, 2015
(Denver, CO) Today, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the Douglas County school choice program. We are disappointed that the court chose not to recognize the important interest the State of Colorado has in promoting the rights of parents as the primary decision makers in the education of their children.
The Court ruled that the program in Douglas County violated Colorado’s Constitutional ban on State money being used to aid religious schools; this provision in our constitution is known as the Blaine Amendment. Blaine Amendments were added to the laws and constitutions of many states in the 19th century as a form of anti-Catholic bigotry. The Colorado Supreme Court has reinforced the bigotry found in Colorado’s constitution by rejecting the Douglas County school choice program.
We disagree with the court’s ruling and do not believe that the program violates the state’s prohibition against public funding of religious institutions, mainly because parents and children are the primary beneficiaries. The power of parents to be able to choose the best education for their children is critical to the long-term success of our state.
Private education plays an important and vital role in our state. Catholic Schools are a great blessing and we celebrate their high standards of excellence, the quality of education they provide and their many accomplishments and achievements.