Voucher-case arguments loom

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The Douglas County School District's voucher program gets another day in court Nov. 19. Attorneys on both sides of the issue will make oral arguments to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The voucher program, which the district calls the Choice Scholarship Program, allowed a limited number of Douglas County students to use public funds toward tuition at private schools. Launched in March 2011, it was halted in August by a Denver District Court judge who said the use of taxpayer money for private and religious educations violated the Colorado Constitution and school finance act.

Despite that ruling, both sides are confident the appeals court will side with them.

“The district court's decision was well thought out and we believe we will prevail,” said president of Taxpayers for Public Education Cindy Barnard, one of many plaintiffs who filed suit to stop the program.

“We believe the state and intervening parents have made a strong case for the Court of Appeals to uphold the pilot program,” said Rob Ross, legal counsel for DCSD. “Parents exercising the independent choice of where to direct their education dollars to best meet their students' unique needs is central to our position.”

Both sides successfully petitioned the court for extra time in which to state their case. Originally, each side was allotted 15 minutes; they now will be allowed 30 minutes each. The hour of testimony is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Colorado Court of Appeals, 101 W. Colfax Ave. in Denver.

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