School Choice Program Delayed in Nevada

Ruling could delay financial assistance to thousands of families across the state

An innovative school choice program in Nevada—which the Institute for Justice helped craft and is currently defending against multiple lawsuits—has been delayed by a judge in Carson City.

In an unfortunate turn of events, District Judge James Wilson granted an injunction to opponents of Nevada’s sweeping Education Savings Account (ESA) program, which was enacted by Governor Brian Sandoval last year. Judge Wilson ruled that the ESA program violates Article 11, section 6 of the Nevada Constitution—a technical requirement that the state legislature fund public schools in an amount it “deems to be sufficient.”

This insensitive ruling has no basis in the state constitution. Many Nevada parents, including IJ’s clients, are depending on ESAs to send their kids to better schools where they can feel confident that their children are safe and academically challenged.

According to the state treasurer, over 4100 savings accounts have already been set up via early enrollment. The financial assistance granted to families from these savings accounts will now be delayed because of the judge’s order.

We are currently considering our options and doing everything we can to make sure Nevada parents have a voice when this unfortunate decision is inevitably reviewed.

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