Hooray! Institute for Justice Stands Up for Dougco Choice Scholarship Families

Update, 6/28: Coverage also available from Nancy Mitchell at Ed News Colorado, including a 3-minute video clip of Tuesday’s press conference.

Very, very good news today! Both the Denver Post and Associated Press report that the Institute for Justice (IJ) has intervened to defend four Douglas County families who face potential harm from lawsuits filed by the ACLU and other groups to try to shut down the Choice Scholarship program.

But then again I already knew that, since some of my Education Policy Center friends were at this morning’s press conference at the State Capitol. IJ senior attorney Michael Bindas laid out the case and explained why the defense of the program would prevail. “The program is neutral with respect to religion, allowing both religious and non-religious schools to participate, and ensuring that it is by the private and independent choice of families where any of the scholarship funds are directed,” he said.

The complaint from the ACLU reads like the obvious fact that families are making the choice was never even considered. You’d think someone were twisting the arms of students and parents, forcing them to use public dollars at a private or religious school against their will.

Surrounded by Douglas County families who have received district-sponsored vouchers that enable them to choose private schools, IJ senior attorney Michael Bindas lays out the case defending the Choice Scholarship program from a pair of lawsuits

“The unique interests and needs of each family are varied, and the program is designed to ensure that parents can take these considerations into play when making choices for their kids,” said Bindas.

So true. In the end, it’s about protecting the choice and interests of families like the four represented at the press conference. For the sake of kids like Allie, Max, Nate and Tim, I hope the judges reject the lawsuits and uphold true school choice in Douglas County!