Duncan v. Nevada
Case Name: Ruby Duncan, et al. v. State of Nevada, et al.
Type of Case: Educational Reform
Court: Clark County (Nevada) 8th Judicial District Court; Nevada Supreme Court
Filed: August, 2015
Current Status: ESAs upheld against Blaine Amendment challenge, but struck down as improperly appropriated
In 2015, the State of Nevada implemented “educational savings account” – tax-free funds that parents can use to pay for primary and secondary educational services from a variety of providers. Public teacher union supporters filed suit to challenge the ESAs, arguing that it violated a state constitutional prohibition on using public funds for religious purposes (a so-called “Blaine Amendment”). WILL filed an amicus brief in support of the law on behalf of the American Federation for Children, Hispanics for School Choice, School Choice Wisconsin, and Dr. Patrick J. Wolf, Distinguished Professor of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas.
The Nevada Supreme Court ultimately concluded that the Nevada legislature could create ESAs without violating the Blaine Amendment, although it had failed to properly appropriate funds for the program.