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In Colorado, a school board listened – and voted for choice

By | March 17th, 2011

Opponents of school vouchers were out in full force at the Douglas County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night in Castle Rock. The board heard public testimony before voting on the measure, which passed 7-0. The raucous crowd cheered for people who agreed with them – and booed those with whom they disagreed. The Board asked that no one bring in signage (there were some signs in the last meeting) so opponents of the program wore lapel stickers and blue tape to protest.

Delana Maynes, representing a group called Taxpayers for Public Education, spoke in opposition….

“We feel the board and the administration has not been listening to our voices. We attended the DAC forums and presented valid concerns. We had serious questions at the community engagement meetings. We have written letters and presented comment before this board at numerous meetings. We are opposed to this plan, and as stakeholders, we deserve to have our concerns addressed, our questions answered and our voices heard. We respectfully ask that you table this vote on the scholarship plan and take the time to truly listen to the voices who oppose this program, otherwise we will find another way to make ourselves heard.”

Just because someone doesn’t AGREE with you doesn’t mean that they aren’t LISTENING.

The Douglas County voucher decision was made to promote choice and excellence. It also comes at the right time.

With a proposed $332 million state budget cut for K-12 looming, school districts face staff cuts and increases in class size.

Up to 500 students can take advantage of the voucher program next school year (shifting 75 percent of their per-pupil tax dollars toward enrollment at private schools). Meanwhile, Douglas County schools would still keep 25 percent [details at Education News Colorado] of that per-pupil tax money.

Here’s the question: are school boards and administrators throughout Colorado LISTENING?

[Updated 3/17/11]

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