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Watch the Colorado Supreme Court’s hearing on vouchers

The Colorado Supreme Court this afternoon will to hear oral arguments in the Douglas County voucher case. While it’s unlikely you’ll find a seat in the courtroom, you can still follow the proceedings online. The court will live stream the oral arguments here.

The voucher case has been three years in the making. Developed after a conservative majority took control of the Douglas County School Districts Board of Education, the voucher program would allow some families in affluent school district to use public tax dollars to pay for tuition at private schools.

Those schools would need to be approved by the school district. Several schools that were approved by the district, before a court injunction was put in place, had religious affiliations. Those schools were required to provide religious exemptions for students. But critics assert the exemptions don’t go far enough and this say this is a clear violation of the Colorado Constitution.

Meanwhile, proponents of the program are likely to argue today that the voucher program is constitutionally sound because of local control laws.

A Court of Appeals ruled last year the Choice Scholarship Program, as the program is known, does not violate the state Constitution. That court overturned an earlier ruling that said it did.

In 2004, the Colorado Supreme Court put a halt to a statewide voucher program that would have provided similar scholarships to low income families.

A decision by the court is likely next year.

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