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Judge Rules Douglas County School Voucher Program Is Unconstitutional

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Douglas County School District officials in August 2011. (credit: CBS)

Douglas County School District officials in August 2011. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A judge ruled at about 4 p.m. Friday that the school voucher program in Douglas County be halted immediately because it is unconstitutional.

In March, the school board approved a pilot program that would provide a public stipend for up to 500 current Douglas County students to attend private school this fall.

Three civil liberties organizations filed the lawsuit challenging the voucher plan, claiming it violates the Colorado Constitution’s religious liberty provisions, which bar the use of public funds for religious schools.

In the program, students would have been qualified to receive $4,575 vouchers to attend one of 19 public or parochial schools next school year.

Denver District Judge Michael Martinez ruled the cases should remain in Denver District Court because state officials had a substantial role in developing the program.

LINK: School Voucher Ruling Complete Court Document

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