Attorney General’s Office Defends State Charter Schools

DENVER – Colorado Solicitor General Dan Domenico today offered the State’s defense of its charter schools in the case Boulder Valley School District v. Colorado State Board of Education. The case was argued in the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The case centers on Boulder Valley’s claim that the General Assembly does not have Constitutional authority to create and fund charter schools that are not controlled by local school boards.

“Boulder Valley School District alleges that the method the Colorado legislature chose to increase school choice is not permitted by the Colorado Constitution. We strongly disagree,” commented Attorney General John Suthers following the argument. “The Charter School Act is particularly helpful to provide school options for kids in low-income and minority communities in our state.”

The State maintained that the Constitution does not limit the General Assembly’s authority to develop innovative education programs like charter schools, so long as those schools are funded with State tax dollars. The State asked the court to uphold a district court decision dismissing Boulder Valley’s claims for that reason. The State also urged the appeals court to hold that the District lacks standing to challenge the law, as Boulder Valley School District does not contain a single state-controlled charter school and the state has agreed to leave sole chartering authority in Boulder to the district.

“More than 5,000 Colorado students and their families are taking advantage of the opportunity these schools offer,” Solicitor General Domenico noted. “It’s a shame that Boulder, which isn’t affected by these schools at all, would use its scarce resources, and force the State to expend its, on lengthy litigation seeking to shut down those students’ schools.”

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