Las Vegas, NV - Beverly Rogers and Rory Reid, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Rogers Foundation, are celebrating yet another legal victory against a controversial school voucher initiative. The decision halted a statutory initiative that would have created an expansive, unaccountable voucher scheme that would have been funded by Nevada taxpayers.
This is the second court challenge lost by the Education Freedom for Nevada PAC, a right-wing political group led by Erin Phillips of Power2Parent. A court recently struck down a constitutional initiative that would have required taxpayers to fund vouchers, even for the wealthy already in private schools.
Bradley Schrager of Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin represented Rogers and Reid in both victories.
“We are glad the judge was able to see these efforts for what they are, deceptive and a huge cost to the state without acknowledgement of the impact on schools and state budgets,” said Beverly Rogers. “We can’t go on pretending private school vouchers are not harmful and detrimental to public schools, their students and the community.”
In the current case, Rogers v. Cegavske, Judge Charles McGee held that the initiative could not proceed because it contained an unfunded mandate, stating the initiative contained the same “sleight of hand” as the constitutional initiative because it failed to identify a funding source or tax to support the scheme.
Likewise, the court found that the initiative's description of effect would deceive the public by not sufficiently explaining the financial impact on public schools and the state budget. The decision also held that the lengthy statutory initiative overstepped boundaries by attempting to direct how the scheme is administered by the state. Though the decision noted that these two issues could potentially be fixed, the fact that the entire scheme did not identify a funding source was a fatal flaw.
“For the second time the court concluded that the proponents of this scheme have attempted to mislead the public,” said Reid. “And, what we’ve learned from voucher schemes in other states is that academic achievement does not improve, and vulnerable students and those with unique needs are left out, whether through lack of access or discrimination. This agenda to destroy public schools in favor of a system that profits off our children must be rejected.”
Per the court order the initiative proponents are enjoined from collecting signatures in support of the petition and from submitting signatures for verification. Any signatures previously collected are also ruled to be invalid.