As the school choice movement’s “legal brain trust,” the Institute for Justice has 15 years of experience drafting and defending school choice legislation—including the U.S. Supreme Court victory for school choice in Cleveland in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.
This paper brings together the hard-won lessons of our experience to help advocates and lawmakers craft effective school choice legislation likely to withstand a legal challenge. By “school choice,” we mean voucher programs, scholarship tax credit plans and education tax credits or deductions that help parents access a broad array of schooling options, including private schools.
This paper is not a substitute for obtaining expert legal review of a school choice bill or proposal from the Institute for Justice School Choice Team at the earliest possible stage in the process. We will perform a thorough check of state and federal law to help ensure the bill passes constitutional muster, and we offer ongoing support—issue-specific legal memos, review of changes to proposed legislation and expert legislative testimony—throughout the legislative battle. After passage, we will—if necessary—defend the program in court on behalf of parents.