ACLU on Education



Oppose CO voucher system because it funds religious schools

The Colorado Court of Appeals last month overturned the injunction placed on the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program (CSP). The CSP is Colorado's only school-choice voucher program. Any student who lives within the Douglas County School District is eligible to apply to receive up to 75% of the state per-pupil funding to attend a school of choice.

In 2011, the ACLU of Colorado, the National ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Americans United for the Separation of Church & State, and others filed suit in Colorado state court, claiming that the school choice option violated the statutory provisions of the CSP itself and seven provisions of the Colorado constitution, including, importantly, the establishment clause in the Colorado constitution. As an ACLU spokesperson said after winning an injunction to prevent the program from being implemented: "By paying for students to attend religious schools, the state was unconstitutionally promoting and subsidizing particular faiths."

Source: Kloster & Corona on 2013 campaign website heritage.org , Mar 28, 2013

Oppose private and religious school voucher programs

The ACLU urges Congress to oppose the Scholarships for Opportunity Results (SOAR) Act, legislation to restart and expand Washington DC's failed private and religious school voucher pilot program. Originally started as a five-year pilot program in 2004, making it the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school voucher program, the DC voucher program should not be reauthorized or expanded.

Under the federal voucher pilot program, funds were provided to schools even though they infuse their curricular materials with specific religious content and even though they are not covered by many of the nation's civil rights statutes that would otherwise protect students against discrimination. Additionally, each of the congressionally-mandated studies to explore the pilot program concluded that the voucher program had no significant effect on the academic achievement of students who used vouchers, including targeted students from "schools in need of improvement."

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on SOAR , Mar 29, 2011

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Page last updated: Jan 28, 2020