NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Colorado Considers School Vouchers Again

March 26, 2003

The Colorado Senate is scheduled to vote today on a bill to establish school vouchers in the state. Although school-choice initiatives have twice been rejected by voters, this effort has the backing of the state's Republican Governor Bill Owens and Colorado's highest-ranking Democrat, Attorney General Ken Salazar.

The bill has a chance at passage because of the efforts of grassroots groups, including black and Hispanic supporters.

  • The legislation limits participants to underperforming children in failing school districts.
  • It sets the amount of the voucher at 85 percent of a district's per-pupil cost.
  • One group of supporters, the Colorado Children's Campaign, has released a report demonstrating that official state figures disguise high school dropout rates that are actually much higher than reported -- especially among African-Americans and Latinos.

Attorney General Salazar describes it as "a limited, experimental, constitutionally defensible voucher program targeted at poor inner-city children."

Source: Editorial, "The Voucher Realignment," March 26, 2003, Wall Street Journal.

 

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