School Choice Hangs in the Balance in Key Colorado Election

October 31

On Nov. 7, voters in many states will head to the polls, generally to vote on lower-level races such as school boards.  But while most of these races won’t garner major attention, they can still have major impact.

Case in point: the elections for school board in Douglas County, Colorado.  This exurban county on the southern edge of the Denver metropolitan area has become ground zero in the nationwide fight for parental choice in education.

In 2011, a group of reformers on the school board passed a modest voucher program that would allow 500 students – out of 67,000 students in the district – to receive publicly funded scholarships to attend private schools.  But ever since, the program has been embroiled in court challenges.  However, last June, a U.S. Supreme Court decision gave the program new life, directing the Colorado Supreme Court to reconsider the program under favorable parameters.

But even with a favorable legal outcome, the survival of the school choice program is likely to be determined by the results of Tuesday’s school board elections.  With four open seats, each side on this issue is backing their own slate of four candidates.  Not surprisingly, teachers unions are spending heavily to elect the anti-school choice slate.  One union alone has already poured $300,000 into supporting the liberal slate.

Family Policy Alliance’s allied organization, CFA Foundation, has produced a voter guide specifically for the Douglas County School Board elections.  If you are a voter in this district – the third largest in the state – or if you know someone who is, please click here to access and share this helpful guide.