On Wednesday, a Nevada judge dismissed an ACLU lawsuit and upheld the state’s new education savings account (ESA) program. The new program deposits up to $5700 each year into a savings account for students who opt out of a public school education. The funds can be used for educational expenses such as tutoring, therapies, virtual school fees, and private school tuition.
The popular ESA program received more than 6000 applications, but due to an injunction filed in this case and a separate lawsuit, students, including those looking to attend Jewish day schools, have been unable to benefit from the new law.
A day before the ruling, Agudath Israel’s national director of state relations, Rabbi A. D. Motzen attended the American Federation for Children annual policy summit and met with the sponsor of the ESA bill Senator Scott Hammond, Nevada deputy solicitor general Joseph Tartakovsky, Institute for Justice attorney Tim Keller (who represented Nevada parents in the case), and Grant Hewitt, chief of staff to Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz. While Rabbi Motzen thanked them for their support of school choice, all of them expressed their appreciation to Agudath Israel and its constituents in Nevada for their support of the ESA program.
Agudath Israel Israel released a statement back in August which included the following quote, which has now thankfully come true. “We hope the courts will dismiss this ill-advised lawsuit” said executive vice president of Agudath Israel, Rabbi David Zwiebel, Esq., “and affirm the right of parents to choose the learning environment that best suits their child.” To see the Nevada ESA court order, click here.