Appellate court hears school voucher case

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. - The Colorado Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday in the Douglas County School District's voucher program.

Denver District Judge Michael Martinez blocked the voucher program in August, saying it was a disservice to the public interest for taxpayers to pay tuition for religious schools. Martinez ruled the program violated the state's constitution and school-financing act.

The school district argues that the Colorado Supreme Court has previously upheld programs that use state money for education and private institutions.

The Denver Post reports that appeals court judges asked lawyers for both sides Monday if vouchers would give public money to religious schools and whether groups that sued the district have legal standing to do so.

The program would offer up to 500 students $4,575 in state funds for tuition at mostly religious, private schools.

Both sides have said they'll appeal to the state Supreme Court if the appeals court rules against them.

The appeals court didn't say when it would rule.

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