Douglas County Offers Vouchers to Students

March 16, 2011

The school board in Douglas County, Colorado voted unanimously to offer vouchers worth $4,575 to as many as 500 students who were not previously enrolled in private school.  The measure would save the district between $402,500 and $2.2 million and would greatly expand options for those families, including religious and secular private schools.

The teacher unions and their allies will almost certainly try to tie the program up in court and run their own board candidates in the hopes of rolling back the policy.  But with choice and other ed reforms being pushed all over the country and with the ability of unions to automatically deduct dues from payrolls being eliminated in a number of states, the ability of the unions to fight every battle in every location is limited.

The most effective political strategy for adopting ed reform is to “flood the zone.”  Propose a lot of ideas in a lot of places and the unions find it nearly impossible to block every one.  That’s what Jeb did in Florida and now reformers are adopting that strategy nationwide, enhancing its effectiveness.