Schwartz v. LopezAnnotate this Case
The Education Savings Account (ESA) program allows public funds to be transferred from the State Distributive School Account (DSA) into private education savings accounts maintained for the benefit of school-aged children to pay for non-public educational services and expenses. Two complaints were brought challenging the ESA program as violating several provisions of the Education Article in the Nevada Constitution. The district court dismissed one complaint after rejecting the constitutional claims. In the other case, the district court granted a preliminary injunction, concluding that one of the constitutional challenges had merit. The Supreme Court resolved the appeals together in this opinion and affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court orders in both cases, holding (1) the ESA program is not contrary to the legislature’s constitutional duty to provide for a uniform system of common schools and does not violate Article 11, Section 10 of the Nevada Constitution; but (2) the use of money appropriated for K-12 public education to instead fund education savings accounts undermines the constitutional mandates to fund public education. Remanded for the entry of a final declaratory judgment and a permanent injunction enjoining the use of any money appropriated for K-12 public education in the DSA to instead fund the education savings accounts.