Munger Tolles Obtains Injunction in Education Voucher Bill Challenge

Munger, Tolles & Olson secured a preliminary injunction on behalf of a group of parents with children in Nevada’s public schools challenging Senate Bill 302 (SB302), which would offer tax-funded vouchers to pay for private, parochial or home schooling.

Munger Tolles filed a lawsuit against State Treasurer Dan Schwartz on Sept. 9, 2015 on the ground that SB302 is unconstitutional. On Jan. 11, 2016, Judge James E. Wilson Jr. of the First Judicial District Court of Nevada (Carson City) agreed and issued an injunction, ruling that the state constitution prohibits public school funds from being used for private expenditures, as contemplated by SB302.

Described in media reports as “the most sweeping school choice law in the country,” the law would entitle parents to receive annual payments of more than $5,000 via education savings accounts created for students to be spent on a variety of education-related expenses, including tutoring and transportation.

Judge Wilson agreed that SB302 violates the Nevada constitution by diverting funds specifically appropriated for public schools to fund private school tuition and home-schooling costs. The judge indicated that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail at trial.

Led by Tamerlin J. Godley, the attorney team includes Thomas Paul Clancy and Samuel T. Boyd. Ms. Godley was quoted on the potential impact of the law in stories published by the Associated Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Courthouse News Service, among others