2As to the merits, Plaintiffs are simply wrong on their fundamental proposition thatColorado school districts must fund and work with traditional public schools only. For years,Colorado law has permitted school districts to enter into public-private partnerships for thepurpose of serving students’ individual needs. Parents have numerous and ever-increasingchoices as to what school will best serve their child. Plaintiffs sketch a picture of Colorado’seducation system in which school districts are hermetically sealed off from the private sector,especially religious entities. This picture does not reflect reality. The reality is that the ColoradoSupreme Court has interpreted the constitutional provisions at issue to permit Douglas County toimplement the Choice Scholarship Program.For instance, as to church-state separation, for almost thirty years the Supreme Court hasinterpreted Colorado’s religion clauses consistent with the First Amendment, including when itupheld a student-choice program in the higher education context,
Americans United for theSeparation of Church and State v. Colorado
, 648 P.2d 1072 (Colo. 1982). In addition, from
Inre Kindergarten School
, 32 P. 422 (Colo. 1893) to
Lujan v. Colorado State Board of Education
,649 P.2d 1005 (Colo. 1982) to
Boulder Valley School District v. Colorado State Board of Education
, 217 P.3d 918 (Colo. App. 2009), Colorado appellate courts have rejected arguments(just like Plaintiffs’) that Article IX should be read narrowly to restrict additional educationalopportunities. Rather, our appellate courts again and again have recognized that the ColoradoConstitution permits innovation and expanded educational options, especially when undertakenby local school districts.
, 649 P.2d at 1021 (“The historical development of publiceducation in Colorado has been centered on the philosophy of local control.”).