October 19, 2015
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging Nevada’s pioneering Education Savings Account (ESA) law. The new law allows parents the freedom to choose how to best meet the educational needs of their children by giving parents the option to create an account, in lieu of attending public school, with funds that may be used for a variety of educational purposes, including private schooling, tutoring,test taking, textbooks or online learning. Along with the motion to dismiss, Attorney General Laxalt also asked the court to expedite its decision to address the uncertainty created by the ACLU’s lawsuit.
“As of today, more than 3,500 students have applied for Nevada’s Education Savings Account program, demonstrating the desire and need for the program,” said Laxalt. “This lawsuit asks our courts to twist Nevada’s Constitution in ways never imagined, much less intended, by our framers. The opponents of parental choice are desperately trying to stop Nevada’s innovative and ambitious program that has already garnered praise and imitation in other states, before it sweeps the nation. My office has assembled a capable and experienced team of lawyers to defend Nevada’s ESAs, and will work to ensure that parents enjoy the genuine educational choice envisioned by lawmakers this past legislative session. I am confident that the court will see this program the same way the Legislature, the governor and a majority of Nevadans see it: as an important, constitutional effort to enhance the education of all.”
Among other things, the ACLU’s suit alleges that the ESA program violates language in the Nevada Constitution stating that public funds should not be used for “sectarian” purposes. The filed motion explains how Nevada’s ESAs serve purely educational purposes, and how the ACLU is misreading Nevada law.
State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, who is one of the defendants in the suit and whose office is tasked with implementing and administering the new law, added, “Every day I hear from parents who welcome the educational choice that this law enables. They are trying to do what is best for their children, and I am glad Nevada’s ESA program gives them the power to make that choice. I applaud the attorney general's efforts to defend this program, and remain committed to implementing the treasurer's regulations in a fair and efficient manner.”
To view the motion to expedite, click here. To view the motion to dismiss, click here.