A Nevada court has rejected arguments by Americans United and its allies that the state's new voucher program directs public funds to the support of sectarian schools.
In a May decision, Clark County District Court Judge Eric Johnson wrote that the program's funds are "reserved for educational purposes, and not for any sectarian purpose. The state has no influence or control over how any parent makes his or her genuine and independent choice to spend his or her [Education Savings Account] funds. Consequently, the state cannot be deemed to be using the funds for a sectarian purpose as the parents, and not the state, direct through their own independent decision the funds to religious education schools."
Johnson also rejected the argument that the program represents a failure by state lawmakers to "provide for a uniform system of common schools" as is required by the Nevada Constitution.
The state's sweeping voucher plan, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) in 2015, is being challenged in court by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada. The groups represent taxpayers and parents who say the program violates the Nevada Constitution.
Under the program, which would be among the largest voucher schemes in the nation, parents of students enrolled in a public school for at least 100 days may transfer their children to...