Regarding George F. Will’s Aug. 28 op-ed column, “Why school choice should prevail”:
The real issue in the Douglas County, Colo., voucher dispute is this: Who should pay for a private school education when parents make that choice for their children? Under this program, which was struck down by a judge, all Colorado public schoolchildren would have paid the price to send a few children in one of the wealthiest counties in the state to private schools.
Douglas County planned to fund the private school vouchers by illegally diverting state money expressly set aside for public education under Colorado law and the Colorado Constitution.
Denver District Judge Michael Martinez struck down the voucher program because he found that the use of public school monies to fund private education violated six provisions of the Colorado Constitution as well as the Colorado Public School Finance Act.
It is time for Douglas County to acknowledge its error and abandon its attempt to justify this inequitable and unconstitutional program.
Anne Kleinkopf, Littleton, Colo.
The writer is director of Taxpayers for Public Education, which sued to stop the Douglas County School District’s voucher program.
●Having picked out a single section of an Aug. 12 court ruling to dispute, George F. Will asserted that Judge Michael Martinez “has ignored settled law” by blocking the Douglas County school voucher program. In fact, Judge Martinez closely followed precedent.
Judge Martinez quoted the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling in Americans United — which the defendants themselves cited — to distinguish an allowable government scholarship program for post-secondary education from a prohibited public school scheme like Douglas County’s: “Because as a general rule religious indoctrination is not a substantial purpose of sectarian colleges and universities, there is less risk of religion intruding into the secular educational function of the institution than there is at the level of parochial elementary and secondary education.”
Americans United prohibits a program like Douglas County’s because it would compel taxpayers to support the religious indoctrination of impressionable youngsters.
Eric Brody, Castle Pines, Colo.
The writer is a member of Taxpayers for Public Education.