Court Allows Alabama Parents & IJ To Intervene in Defense of School Choice Program

John Kramer
John Kramer · October 22, 2013

Arlington, Va.—Yesterday, Judge Eugene Reese of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County granted the motion of the Institute for Justice to intervene—on behalf of parents Tequila Rogers, Danyal Jones and Mark Jones—in the state-court lawsuit initiated by the Alabama Education Association against the Alabama Accountability Act. This means that these parents, who were able to keep their kids out of failing public schools and place them in successful private schools because of the refundable tax credit provided by the Act, will be allowed to participate fully in the legal defense of the nation’s newest school choice program. The court granted the parents’ motion after the AEA indicated that it would not attempt to oppose it.

In a separate ruling, the Court also scheduled a hearing on November 14 at 9:45 a.m. on the motion to dismiss the AEA’s lawsuit, filed on October 9 by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. The Institute for Justice supports that motion.

“Parents are the direct beneficiaries of the tax credits provided by the Accountability Act, so it only makes sense that they should be allowed to fight back against the AEA’s attempt to eliminate those credits,” said Bert Gall, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice. “We are ready to defend the school choice program created by the Accountability Act so that our clients, and parents all over the state, do not lose their opportunity to choose a school—public or private—that can best provide for their children’s educational needs.”

“Thanks to the Accountability Act, I was able to keep my son out of a failing public school, and instead send him to a private school that has a much better educational environment,” said Tequila Rogers. “I am glad that the court is allowing me to protect school choice for me and every parent across Alabama who previously had no choice but to send their children to a failing public school.”

“Now that our motion to intervene has been granted, we will have the chance to demonstrate to the court that it is perfectly constitutional for the state to provide school choice to parents like our clients,” said Dick Komer, an IJ senior attorney. “Parents who want school choice deserve their day in court, and now they will get it.”

The Alabama Accountability Act will achieve something vitally important to parents and children across the state: It will rescue kids from failing public schools. It will also help shift power over children’s education from the teachers’ union and restore it to parents, which is why the Alabama Education Association has orchestrated a series of lawsuits in a desperate effort to block the schoolhouse doors, not with the goal of keeping kids out, but with the specific goal of keeping kids in chronically failing schools.