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On Monday, June 29th the Colorado Supreme Court struck down the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program as unconstitutional, preventing 500 students from having the chance to get out of failing and under-performing schools. The ruling was based on the majority finding of “unconditional aid to religious institutions”.
Pam Benigno, director of the Education Policy Center stated, “This decision is difficult to swallow, especially for students who are struggling in their current school to reach their full potential … Families deserve access to more educational options.”
Colorado is one of 38 states that have a Blaine Amendment in their constitution. These amendments were mostly added during the late 1800s and were anti-Catholic in nature. Due to the large Catholic immigration influx many wanted to prevent any public monies from funding any parochial school.
The Education Policy Center, which was instrumental in the scholarship program, reports that is considering appealing this ruling to the US Supreme Court due to the state’s Blaine Amendment.