CER Stands With Parents in Nevada ESA Lawsuit
August 27, 2015
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is challenging Nevada’s newly created and not even yet implemented Education Savings Account (ESA) program.
The ESA program was created in 2015 by Nevada lawmakers with the intention of giving nearly all parents a choice in how to use education funds best in order to fit their child’s unique individual learning needs. Set to begin in January 2016, a parent could use a portion or all of their child’s education funding towards private school tuition or tutoring services, for example.
“It’s sickening that a group with the slogan of protecting individual rights and liberties is in fact doing the opposite and challenging a program that would give parents the freedom to exercise their right to ensure their child gets the best education possible,” said CER president Kara Kerwin (@CERKaraKerwin).
“Most states in the U.S. earn a grade of D when it comes to empowering parents,” Kerwin said, referring to CER’s Parent Power Index. “Nevada lawmakers understood they were putting the interests of parents and students first by enacting this ESA program, and we stand with them and Nevada leaders and parents in this lawsuit brought on by a group clearly only interested in protecting the status quo.”
There have been many lawsuits to school choice programs across the U.S. since the first was created in Milwaukee in the early 1990s, and they’re typically brought on by BLOB (“Big Learning Organization Bureaucracies”) groups intending to protect the traditional education establishment as it stands. History has been on the side of parents and students however, with the most notable case being in 2002 when the U.S. Supreme Court in the Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case ruled that the state of Ohio was within its constitutional power to enact a school choice program for Cleveland children. Arizona, the first state with an ESA program, survived a legal challenge based on the same grounds as the current Nevada lawsuit to its ESA program in 2013.