Will Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education be a game changer?

Ben DeGrow of Watchdog.org writes:

Supreme Court ruling could make Colorado a school choice destination

Anticipation is building among school choice supporters for a Colorado court ruling that could create wide and deep ripples in the fabric of American K-12 education.

On Dec. 10, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Taxpayers v. Douglas County Board of Education. The case’s third and decisive round of legal hearings will test whether an unprecedented local school choice program not only will survive, but also could multiply.

The ruling could embolden other local Colorado boards of education to offer parents educational options outside the public system, and inspire policymakers hoping to expand choice in other states.

New Choices Lost
In March 2011, a unanimous vote of the Douglas County school board made Colorado’s third-largest district the first in the nation to enact a local private school choice program. Created as a pilot, the Choice Scholarship Program offered 500 current district students a full 75 percent of the state’s per-pupil funding formula to underwrite tuition if they left to attend a private school partner of the parents’ choice.

Unlike most choice programs, enacted at the state level, the program was structured to benefit students regardless of a family’s income. Douglas County is a largely conservative and affluent area, a fast-growing suburban region connected to rural pockets that together serve more than 66,000 students grades K-12.