Nevada Supreme Court Ends Voucher Program

Affiliate: ACLU of Nevada
September 29, 2016 4:30 pm

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The ACLU of Nevada applauds the decision of the Nevada Supreme Court to permanently end an unconstitutional school voucher program enacted last year by the Nevada Legislature.

Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada lauded the decision: “We are pleased with today’s decision by the Nevada Supreme Court. It halts the program in its entirety and stops the state from taking funds earmarked for public education and using them for vouchers that support private and religious schools that indoctrinate and discriminate. It also newly establishes a clear right for Nevada citizens– including taxpayers–to challenge legislative appropriations and expenditures that may violate the Constitution.”

Story explained that the ACLU and Nevada taxpayers will continue to oppose any effort to enact a new voucher program: “Nevada taxpayers are unlikely to support any future voucher program because it would require a tax increase to fund the private educations of those who can already afford it. And the ACLU of Nevada will continue to defend and protect the wall separating church and state in Nevada and uphold the rights of every child to obtain a free, public education without bias,” he said.

It has been over a year since the lawsuit was first filed by the ACLU of Nevada and ACLU, along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and pro bono attorneys from the firm of Covington & Burling, LLP.

“The decision respects the mandates of Nevada law and the constitutional guarantee that Nevadans must not support private and religious education at the expense of our public school students,” said Amy Rose, legal director, ACLU of Nevada.

Heather L. Weaver, senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, agreed:

This is a resounding victory for Nevada’s taxpayers and public-school students,” she said, adding, “Going forward, Nevada’s lawmakers would be wise to abandon their efforts to fund private education and focus on strengthening public schools, which are open to and serve all students, regardless of faith, sex, race, health condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.”

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