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Education Policy Center Responds to Dougco Scholarship Injunction

Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link interviewed one of the Education Policy Center staff to get a response to the Denver District Court ruling placing an injunction on the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program:

Ben DeGrow, an education analyst at the Independence Institute in Golden, praised the district for its backbone.

“This school district has shown remarkable leadership, and the commitment to school choice is exemplary,” he said.

Center director Pam Benigno also provided comment to School Reform News‘ coverage of the district court injunction:

“The Douglas County School Board has shown great boldness to provide parents with real school choice options,” said Pam Benigno, director of the Education Policy Center at the Colorado-based Independence Institute. “It is disappointing that, at least for this school year, scholarship students will not be allowed to attend the school that will best serve their needs.”

Districts around Colorado are watching Douglas County’s case and will likely consider similar programs if it holds up in court, Benigno said. Douglas County, like other districts around the state and nationwide, has seen reductions in school funding and property taxes so also considers broadening school choice a good financial move, she said.

In addition, recorded clips from an interview with Benigno were used by 850 KOA in their breaking news coverage of the ruling. Both Benigno and DeGrow also have made guest appearances on Colorado talk radio programs to discuss the fallout from the decision. Media coverage followed the Independence Institute’s press release sent out within 30 minutes of the ruling’s announcement:

“While today’s ruling is unexpected and disappointing, the fight certainly isn’t over,” said Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno. “Students deserve real options that best suit their needs. I believe the humble courage of Douglas County leaders will be vindicated in the end.”…

“Why did they wait so long to try to shut down the program?” Benigno said. “Today’s ruling is even sadder because of all the students and families whose lives have been disrupted.”

Complete coverage of the Choice Scholarship program — including program information, legal documents, audio, video and other media coverage — can be found on our “Douglas County vouchers” resource page.