School Vouchers Remain on Hold

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Colorado won't have public school vouchers at least until the fall of 2005 following Monday's ruling by the state Supreme court.

The court has upheld a judge's ruling that school vouchers are unconstitutional. The court voted 4-to-3 to affirm a Denver district judge's ruling that the law violates the local-control provisions of the state Constitution.

Last year, the Legislature approved a pilot program that offered $4,500 to poor students from failing districts so they could attend private schools. It was one of the first voucher programs in the country. But District Judge Joseph Meyer overturned the law, saying it violated the state Constitution by stripping local school boards of their authority.

Opponents of the voucher program claim it was a thinly veiled attempt to funnel public money to religious schools. The law's supporters say it was an effort to allow parents to send their children to good schools.