DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU and the law firm Arnold & Porter — who successfully challenged a Douglas County school voucher program before the Colorado Supreme Court last year — filed motions yesterday challenging the validity of a new lawsuit that asks a federal district court to issue an unprecedented order that would require the Douglas County School District to divert taxpayer funds to religious schools.
Maryland legislators voted in March to approve a budget that includes $5 million in grants for low-income students who wish to attend private schools.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. The proposal is the culmination of a decade-long attempt by voucher advocates to funnel public money to private schools.
Teachers unions had opposed the measure. Sean Johnson, who represents the Maryland State Education Association, told The Washington Post the group will continue to lobby against it.
Nevada’s new voucher program will lead to direct taxpayer funding of religious schools in violation of the Nevada Constitution, an Americans United attorney recently told a state judge.
During an oral argument held in December, AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee told a Clark County court that it’s perfectly acceptable for parents to send their children to religious schools – as long as they pay for it themselves.
As schools go, the Academia de la Recta Porta in Washington, D.C., doesn’t seem to offer much. Squeezed between grimy storefronts in a tumble-down area of northwest D.C. near the Maryland line, the school consists of just two classrooms.
The school’s music program, The Washington Post reported in 2012, includes a keyboard and a drum. The facility lacks a gym, so students have to go two miles away to a recreation center for exercise. There is no library.
Wisconsin’s voucher program will drain $2.2 million from public schools this year, and taxpayers could be stuck with higher taxes.
Three civil liberties organizations, including Americans United, recently filed suit in a Nevada court to challenge a school voucher program signed into law in June by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United sued Aug. 27 on behalf of a group of parents, clergy and others who oppose the program’s effort to divert taxpayer money to private, religious schools.
Opponents of “school choice” schemes have experienced mixed successes in recent months, as Colorado’s Supreme Court blocked a voucher ploy in that state while North Carolina’s highest court approved a program in the Tar Heel State.
In Colorado, Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado scored a victory in June when that state’s high court struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated legislature has approved a bill that will expand the state’s voucher program by $48 million over the next two years. As written, that increase will cut into public school funding and will allow more private and religious schools to accept taxpayer dollars.
Critics are calling the legislation a mistake.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applaud a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.