Attorney General Laxalt Files Motion to Dismiss Second Lawsuit Challenging Nevada’s Education Choice Program

November 6, 2015

Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a motion to dismiss the second lawsuit challenging Nevada’s new Education Savings Account (ESA) program. Nevada’s ESAs broadly empower parents with educational choice, allowing them to best address their children’s needs by giving parents the option to create an account with funds that may be used for educational purposes in lieu of attending public school. The funds may be used for private schooling, tutoring, test taking, textbooks or online learning, among other things.

    “In a bold attempt to address the well-recognized problems plaguing Nevada’s educational system, our Legislature has created an ambitious educational choice program that has captured national attention,” said Attorney General Laxalt. “Unfortunately, that includes attention from national organizations opposed to parental choice, who have sued to stop Nevada’s groundbreaking law. However, these legal challenges misinterpret and seek to misapply Nevada’s Constitution, which broadly empowers our Legislature to ‘encourage education’ by ‘all suitable means.” My office will make every effort to ensure this important program is realized, and prevent anti-choice groups from undermining the Legislature’s plan to improve education for all Nevadans.”

      This second ESA lawsuit is backed by the Education Law Center, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. Among other things, it argues that the ESA program violates the Nevada Constitution by providing funds that can be used for private schooling and private services. The filed motion explains that the state Constitution does not restrict the Legislature in how it promotes education, but instead broadly requires the Legislature to “encourage education” within the state by “all suitable means.”

        Treasurer Dan Schwartz, the defendant in the suit and the one whose office is tasked with implementing and administering the new law, added, “Nevada’s ESA program is meant to empower Nevada’s parents, students and teachers with educational choice.

          My sincere hope is that opposition to this legislation will not prevent Nevada families from reaping the benefits of this innovative and important program. We appreciate the attorney general’s efforts and are working with his office to defend this program. We will continue to accept applications from interested families.”

            To view the filed motion to dismiss, click here.