Colorado’s Supreme Court struck down school vouchers on Monday, finding that they violate the state’s constitution because they send public dollars to private, religious institutions.
“Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever . . . .”
“This stark constitutional provision makes one thing clear: A school district may not aid religious schools. Yet aiding religious schools is exactly what the CSP [school voucher program] does,” reads the court’s opinion, announced by Chief Justice Nance E. Rice.
Colorado’s voucher program was only operational in the Douglas County school district, the state’s third largest—but Monday’s Supreme Court ruling has implications for school districts across Colorado, according to The Washington Post.
North Carolina’s own statewide school voucher program—known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program—is on pause pending a ruling from the state Supreme Court, which could come any day.
At issue? Whether or not the Opportunity Scholarship Program violates North Carolina’s constitution—which, similar to Colorado’s, says that taxpayer dollars should be “used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools.”