State Treasurer blasts out-of-state ESA filings

On Tuesday, April 5 the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People asked the Nevada Supreme Court to extend the expedited briefing period to accommodate their amicus briefs in Lopez v. Schwartz.  The Court granted their request, pushing the final deadline to April 20.  In response, the State Treasurer agreed to the Attorney General’s request for an additional week to respond to their briefs.  April 29 is now the final date on which all briefs are due.

State Treasurer Dan Schwartz said, “These three groups waited until the last possible moment to request an extension, thereby piling three more wordy volumes onto the Justices’ desks.  Moreover, they follow four other amici groups, who have already filed their briefs without disturbing the Court’s expedited briefing schedule.

“Not a single one of these groups attended our workshops or listened to Nevada parents.  They’ve traveled long distances to our state, but they are short on the facts.  ESA’s are designed to benefit parents whose children attend public schools but who have been short-changed on their education.  They include the rich and poor, but mostly hard working middle class families who want their children to succeed.  There are seven court-compliant plaintiffs.  We have over 5,000 applications from parents who have registered for ESAs because they want their children to be ready for the competitive world that awaits them after high school.

“These parents are tired of defense funds, legal centers, and other groups who show up late in court to protest a program that asks the questions, ‘if we have spent billions and billions of dollars on our K-12 schools, why is our state ranked 50 out of 50 in education?  If our schools are doing such an outstanding job, why is the high school dropout rate close to 50 percent, and over 65 percent for Hispanic groups?’  Not one of these groups answers these questions.

“The time has come to ask for a judicial decision, not to file yet more pages on issues that have already been thoroughly aired before the Court.”

Attorney General Adam Laxalt stands fully behind the State Treasurer:  “As we have done from day one, my office will continue to provide the very best defense of Nevada’s ESA program possible, while also seeking to secure certainty for the thousands of Nevada families affected by these lawsuits as quickly as possible.”

 

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