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ACLU of Nevada Sues to Block State's New School Choice Law

Cross-posted from the Charters & Choice blog.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada says it's filing a lawsuit challenging the state's new, record-breaking school choice law.

The law allows any parent with a child in public school to withdraw his or her kid and use state money toward tuition at religious, private schools.

The ACLU says that goes against Nevada's constitution, which bars public funds from being used for sectarian purposes. The organization is seeking an injunction to stop the program's implementation.

Nuts and Bolts of Nevada's Education Savings Accounts

This summer, Nevada lawmakers passed an expansive school choice program with the most generous eligibility requirements in the country: All students enrolled in public school can enroll in the program.

The state will place money in education savings accounts that parents can use to pay for tuition at a private school, including those that are religiously affiliated, or buy materials for home schooling. Parents could even use the money to mix and match courses and services from private and public sources to create a customized education for their children.

Although there are many ways parents can use their ESA money, both proponents and opponents of the law have been focusing on private schools.

The country's first education savings account program in Arizona faced a legal challenge from the state's teachers' union and ultimately prevailedHowever, representatives with the ACLU told reporters during a press conference that Nevada's case is distinct from Arizona's because of key differences in the way the two state constitutions are worded.

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