Dougco School Board Approves Choice Program: Looking Back One Year Later
Can you believe it was one year ago today that the Douglas County Board of Education voted to adopt the groundbreaking Pilot Choice Scholarship Program? (Can you also believe that I was 5 years old then and am still 5 years old now? I need to talk to my Education Policy Center friends about this.) Time certainly flies.
So rather than diving into the news of the day, it seemed fitting to feature a brief retrospective. A lot has happened since then. To refresh your memory, here are some of the highlights:
- April and May: Students and parents lined up for the 500 scholarship slots, while a wide variety of private schools came forward to be program “partners”
- June: The ACLU and other school choice opponents filed suit against the program
- July: Dougco’s education reform pioneers decided to organize the voucher-like program under the auspices of a district-established charter school
- August: Sad news, as a Denver district court judge placed a permanent injunction on the program
- September: The Douglas County school board and its allies filed an appeal of the decision with the Colorado Court of Appeals
- November: The pro-reform, pro-school choice slate of candidates — including two incumbents and one new member — swept the school board elections for the second straight time to strengthen the unanimous majority
- December: A little extra hubbub surrounded an academic survey of parents concerning the Dougco program
- February and March: Local citizens responded to growing union-generated discontent, calling for open collective bargaining negotiations
In case you don’t want to read through all those newsy links, I also thought it would be great to share once more a couple of my favorite Douglas County school choice video footage from the past year, starting with the 2-minute Independence Institute production of Nate Oakley’s story:
And who can forget the fantastic, 8-minute Choice Media feature (which includes some clips of one of my Education Policy Center friends):
Looking ahead, the next few months will lead us into oral arguments before the Court of Appeals, bringing hope that — for the sake of the students — the injunction can be overturned. I’ll probably still be 5 when all that happens, too….