Agudath Israel of America expressed its profound disappointment at the decision of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada to challenge the state’s new Education Savings Account (ESA) program in court.
“This lawsuit follows a long line of misguided attempts to prevent parents from exercising their freedom to choose the best educational environment for their children,” said Agudath Israel of America’s national director of state relations, Rabbi A. D. Motzen.
The ESA program will deposit $5700 each year in a savings account for parents who opt out of a public school education for their child. 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 2,800 applications within weeks after registration began.
Rabbi Moshe Katz, dean of Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas lauded the ESA program. “Senator Scott Hammond, Governor Brian Sandoval, and Treasurer Dan Schwartz introduced, enacted, and are now working to implement the ESA program in order to give all parents more educational options. They deserve an award, not a lawsuit.”
“Many of my congregants were excited when the ESA bill passed earlier this year,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fromowitz of Ahavas Torah Center in Henderson, Nevada. “They are outraged that a civil liberties organization now wants to discriminate against them simply for wishing to use the funds in their savings accounts at a school or educational setting of their choice.”
“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.”
Agudath Israel has been a longtime advocate for school choice and will continue to work with its constituents in Nevada to expand educational opportunities for all families.