Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist.Annotate this Case
The Douglas County School District implemented its Choice Scholarship Pilot Program (CSP), a program that awarded taxpayer-funded scholarships to qualifying elementary, middle, and high school students. Those students could use their scholarships to help pay their tuition at partnering private schools, including religious schools. Following a lawsuit from Douglas County taxpayers, the trial court found that the CSP violated the Public School Finance Act of 1994, as well as various provisions of the Colorado Constitution. The trial court permanently enjoined implementation of the CSP. The court of appeals reversed, holding that: (1) Petitioners lacked standing to sue under the Act; and (2)the CSP did not violate the Colorado Constitution. The Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the CSP comported with both the Act and the Colorado Constitution. After review, the Court held that Petitioners lacked standing to challenge the CSP under the Act. Further, the CSP violated article IX, section 7 of the Colorado Constitution. Accordingly, the Court reversed the court of appeals' judgment and remanded the case to that court with instructions to remand back to the trial court so that the trial court could reinstate its order permanently enjoining the CSP.