Hooray! Douglas County, Institute for Justice Appeal Anti-Voucher Ruling

I’ve been told (no, really, I have!) that for a little kid blogging about education policy, I have a lot of appeal. Embarrassing: at first I thought it had something to do with bananas. But you know I was so much younger then. Anyway, I don’t want you to slip up before I get to the main point of my post for today.

It’s about a different kind of appeal, one I knew had to be coming but am so glad to see it finally happen. I’m talking about an appeal of last month’s sad district court decision to shut down the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program. Last Thursday, September 8, the paperwork was delivered to the Colorado Court of Appeals. First, from an Institute for Justice press release:

“We are confident that the Court of Appeals will correct the trial court’s decision, which ignored or attempted to rationalize away existing Colorado and U.S. Supreme Court precedent that clearly authorizes the scholarship program,” said Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represents the Oakley, Doyle and Anderson families in defending the Choice Scholarship Program.

A Castle Rock news outlet reports that the Douglas County School District filed its appeal on the same day:

The appeal is challenging a number of Martinez’s opinions, including his decision to halt to the program, his opinion that the voucher program violates provisions of the Colorado constitution and Public School Finance Act and his refusal to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims for lack of standing. The district argued that the plaintiffs, which include taxpayers and residents of Douglas County, did not stand to suffer any harm from the outcome of the case.

“We firmly believe the choice scholarship program was built on cases that were upheld in (other) Supreme Court decisions and we think our case will hold up,” [district spokesman Randy] Barber said. “We hope the Colorado court of appeals will reverse the decision of the Denver district court.”

The deadline to file an appeal was September 26, so it hadn’t exactly reached the nerve-wracking phase yet. Anyway, here’s hoping that the Court of Appeals finds a way to restart the Choice Scholarship Program while proceedings continue to move forward as quickly as they can. Even a little kid as appealing as I am has a hard time waiting at the pace of the legal system.

Keep the faith, everyone.