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The Truth about our lawsuit

on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 23:13

Dear Douglas County families and taxpayers,

We’re writing to clear up some misleading statements made in a recent letter sent out by the Douglas County School District regarding lawsuits filed against the new voucher program.  Despite what the District has told you, there are really two separate lawsuits, each with it’s own separate claims.  But, both are asking the court for the same thing: to stop the illegal plan to divert Douglas County tax dollars to private schools.

We are Taxpayers for Public Education- a bipartisan group of your friends and neighbors who strongly support public education, but are very concerned that our School Board members have approved a voucher program that is unconstitutional, undemocratic and inequitable.

Here is the real truth about the vouchers and what the District is telling you:

The District only told you about one lawsuit.

  • The truth: There are two lawsuits.  One, filed by the ACLU.  And, one filed by Taxpayers for Public Education.  After working hard during every step of the process, our group had to make the tough decision to go to court.  It’s the only way to stop a dangerous and costly mistake.  And we know that many of you agree with us.  The District’s own survey shows that 47% of Douglas     County families and taxpayers are against vouchers.

The District wants you to believe the lawsuit is about religious schools.

  • The truth: No matter where the money goes, to a religious school or not, once Douglas County tax dollars leave the county and head to private - it’s a violation of the Colorado Constitution. Public dollars are by law set aside by the Constitution and the Colorado Public School Finance Act for public schools and public education.  The voucher program will use these monies for private schools and private education.

The District says this is a “money-maker.”

  • The truth:  The District promised to take 25% of the state money it will receive for the voucher program and give that money to the Douglas County public schools that will suffer because of vouchers.  But now the District has gone back on that promise.  On June 27,  the Board approved a plan to give 100% of the voucher money to a sham charter school that will administer the voucher program -- leaving no money left over to help the public schools in the District.

The voucher program has drained and will continue to drain, a hugely disproportionate share of resources from the District, Douglas County classrooms, families and taxpayers- to serve less than 1% of the students who want to go to private schools.  We believe the District should be concentrating on improving schools here in Douglas County and not shirking its duty to serve its students and their families.

Taxpayers for Public Education (TFPE) supports public education and believes that a strong public education system is instrumental in building and maintaining an extraordinary workforce that will keep American companies and American entrepreneurship viable and robust to meet the challenges in the years ahead.