Can you believe it was one year ago today that the Douglas County Board of Education voted to adopt the groundbreaking Pilot Choice Scholarship Program? (Can you also believe that I was 5 years old then and am still 5 years old now? I need to talk to my Education Policy Center friends about this.) Time certainly flies.
So rather than diving into the news of the day, it seemed fitting to feature a brief retrospective. A lot has happened since then. To refresh your memory, here are some of the highlights:
- April and May: Students and parents lined up for the 500 scholarship slots, while a wide variety of private schools came forward to be program “partners”
- June: The ACLU and other school choice opponents filed suit against the program
- July: Dougco’s education reform pioneers decided to organize the voucher-like program under the auspices of a district-established charter school
- August: Sad news, as a Denver district court judge placed a permanent injunction on the program
- September: The Douglas County school board and its allies filed an appeal of the decision with the Colorado Court of Appeals
- November: The pro-reform, pro-school choice slate of candidates — including two incumbents and one new member — swept the school board elections for the second straight time to strengthen the unanimous majority
- December: A little extra hubbub surrounded an academic survey of parents concerning the Dougco program
- February and March: Local citizens responded to growing union-generated discontent, calling for open collective bargaining negotiations
In case you don’t want to read through all those newsy links, I also thought it would be great to share once more a couple of my favorite Douglas County school choice video footage from the past year, starting with the 2-minute Independence Institute production of Nate Oakley’s story:
And who can forget the fantastic, 8-minute Choice Media feature (which includes some clips of one of my Education Policy Center friends):
Looking ahead, the next few months will lead us into oral arguments before the Court of Appeals, bringing hope that — for the sake of the students — the injunction can be overturned. I’ll probably still be 5 when all that happens, too….