Colorado School Choice Litigation Update

February 1, 2004

11After two-and-a-half hours of oral argument—preceded by a rally of more than 300 parents and community activists supporting Colorado’s Opportunity Contract program—a Denver district judge in December struck down the state’s new school choice program under an arcane “local control” provision, found in the constitutions of Colorado and only five other states. The judge also enjoined the program, halting all implementation efforts by the State and school districts and threatening the scheduled start of the program in fall 2004.

IJ, representing 12 low-income Colorado families, and the Colorado Attorney General immediately asked the state Supreme Court for expedited review, which was granted. The case will likely be heard in the spring. IJ and the attorney general also asked the trial judge to stay his injunction order and allow implementation efforts to continue during the appeal. This request was denied.

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