The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that a plan to provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools violates the state's constitution, reports The New York Times. In a split decision, the court said the voucher program in a Douglas County, Colo., school district breaches a constitutional provision that explicitly bars using public money to support schools "controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever."
Teachers' unions and civil-liberties groups filed a legal challenge after the Denver-area district adopted the voucher plan in 2011. The program aimed to finance scholarships at 23 district-approved private schools, 16 of them faith-affiliated. The decision stops other Colorado school districts from implementing similar programs. Douglas County education officials signaled that they would appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.