Category Archives: Educational Choice

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School Choice!

Today, in a long-awaited ruling on state Blaine Amendments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of three Montana mothers who wished to enroll their children in religious schools with the assistance of a scholarship.

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The COVID-19 Disruption of K-12

Educators of all types, including parents, have a tremendous challenge before them.

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Oral Arguments in the Montana School Choice Case are Today

Today, in fact right now, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to finally hear the oral arguments in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which the Court agreed to hear back in June of last year. In 2015, lawmakers in Montana passed a school choice program that provided a state tax credit for private donations made to non-profit K-12 scholarship granting organizations. The following year, the program was halted by overzealous regulators at the state’s department of revenue who invoked the Montana constitution’s Blaine Amendment to bar scholarship recipients from using these funds at religious schools. A group of plaintiffs comprised of three mothers wishing to send their children to religious private schools challenged the Department of Revenue rule and so began the case now before the Supreme Court. The parents’ argument was that the rule that effectively invalidate the program was unconstitutional under both the Montana and the United States Constitutions as it violated their right to free exercise of religion. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer not long prior, the Montana State Supreme Court ended the program. The case being heard today aims to answer the issue of whether […]

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Some Ongoing Challenges to State Blaine Amendments and Clauses

Since the Trinity Lutheran ruling the Institute for Justice has taken a very active role in helping bring down state Blaine amendments, as they constitute a major barrier to school choice.

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We All have a Right to Know

Sometimes dreaded and sometimes eagerly awaited, report cards are an ever-present component in the world of education. A new kind of report card was released today, but before we shift our attention to it, a brief historical note is needed to demonstrate why it was necessary in the first place.

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A+ Colorado Releases New Brief about DPS Unified Enrollment

Colorado has been a national leader in terms of accessible school choice. The brief by A+ Colorado, School Choice with Unified Enrollment, examines both the opportunities and challenges school choice has offered families in Denver. The district moved to a unified choice enrollment platform in 2012.

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How Federal Programs Support Private K-12 Students and Teachers

Federal law requires that private K-12 schools have access to federally funded “equitable services” through their local school districts. Our most recent paper outlines the various services and funding available to private schools and provides real Colorado examples of how private schools participate in federal programs.

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New Publication About a Rural Charter Public School

In our latest profile of Colorado schools, author Peter Huidekoper Jr. paints a picture of how Paradox Valley Charter School serves as a successful place of learning for Pre K-12 students. The pride surrounding this small town school and the significant ties to the specific region are demonstrated through numerous interviews of Paradox Valley Charter School staff and community members. 

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SBE Tie Vote on Classical Academy Means BVSD Decision Stands

Today, Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons lost its second appeal to the State Board of Education on a three to three party-line vote. The Boulder Valley School District’s decision to deny the charter stands. In the first appeal to the SBE, Democratic member Val Flores crossed party lines and voted in favor of the school. It has been said that her vote upset many in the Democratic Party. She was not there today, and her absence disappointed hundreds of families.

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It’s National School Choice Week!!!

Today I joined fellow students at the Colorado State Capitol Building to watch the legislative process! It was really cool because I heard a legislator talk about National School Choice Week! I even met a real live legislator named Senator John Cooke from Weld County. He is really tall! Before he was a state senator he was the Weld County Sheriff. My friend, and intern at the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, Grace Atchison-Reynolds, wrote a spectacular op-ed about her own school choice story. Also, in celebration of National School Choice Week, Grace starred in a video! Once again the National Alliance for Charter Public Schools ranked Colorado 2nd for the best charter school laws. I was hoping we would take first this year but maybe we will next year! It is the time of year when many students open enroll into a public school other than their neighborhood school. You can learn more by going to SchoolChoiceforKids.org Enjoy celebrating school choice! You have three more days to celebrate!

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