Colorado Senator's Viewpoint on Voucher Program

( [email protected] ) Dec 06, 2003 10:50 AM EST

The Senator of Colorado state says a district court’s ban on school voucher program is “wrongheaded” which would bring forth negative effects on the children in failing public schools, especially black and Hispanic students from the low-income families.

Andrews notes that many poor families have been preparing to apply for voucher program to transfer their children from failing schools to a better performing schools. State Senator John Andrew said, "This is the worst Christmas news that a lot of these families could get." He added, "the Grinch has stolen all of that from them this Christmas."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court allowed voucher plans last year, on Wednesday, Denver Judge Joseph Meyer issued a ban prohibiting implementation of the state's voucher program saying it violates the Colorado constitution regarding "separation of state and religion."

The court challenge to the new law was filed by a coalition of liberal teachers, religious organizations, and education groups, and Andrews believes the ruling was also politically motivated. He points out the decision was politically biased against the new voucher program with "a Democrat-appointed judge, the teacher union here in Colorado vowing to do whatever it takes to keep vouchers away from Colorado families as an option for their kids," and that teachers' union being "the single-most powerful campaign contributor and volunteer pool for Democratic political races."

The senator is still hopeful that a higher court will see that Colorado's constitution does allow for expansion of educational choice for poor families.