Colorado offers families some school choice options.
Public School Choice:
Colorado allows for choice within the public education system through inter-district and intra-district open enrollment. Students may attend any public school that they wish as long as long as that school can accommodate them.
Private School Choice:
In 2011 Douglas County School District implemented the Choice Scholarship Pilot Program, which provides scholarships for up to 500 students to attend private schools of their choice. Douglas County is the only school district in Colorado to offer private school choice. Students who receive the scholarship receive about 75% of the estimated per-pupil revenue at a public school, or $4,575, according to American Federation for Children.
The Center for Education Reform reports that Colorado has a strong charter school law because charter schools can be granted waivers to certain regulations and teachers are not required to be part of a union. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reports that in 2013, more than 94,000 students were enrolled in the state’s 184 public charter schools. However, one weakness to the state's charter school law is that the board that charter school authorizers are not completely separated from the department of education, and all authorizers are subject to certain restrictions.
Colorado offers a state-led online program, several full-time schools, and several district-run programs to meet the online learning needs of its students. According to the Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning report, in addition to Colorado’s state-led program, there are 58 full-time online options, including 5 multi-district charters, 21 multi-district schools, 11 single-district schools, and 17 single-district programs. Altogether, Colorado enrolled more than 17,000 students in 2011-2012, a 7 percent increase over the previous year. Colorado also has a supplemental statewide online program entitled Colorado Online Learning (COL), which enrolled 1,574 students during the 2011-2012 school year, a 2 increase over the previous year.
In 2011, the Douglas County school implemented the Choice Scholarship Pilot Program, which provides scholarships for up to 500 students to attend private schools of their choice. Douglas County is the only school district in Colorado to offer private school choice.
<a href="http://www.schooldatadirect.org/app/location/q/stid=6/llid=111/stllid=219/locid=6/stype=/catid=-1/secid=-1/compid=-1/site=pes">Click here for detailed information</a> on Colorado's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in Colorado.