Lawsuit: Ohio Cannot Block Families from Accessing Scholarships
Citizens for Community Values and a coalition of Christian Schools and Families file suit against the Ohio Department of Education
Along with a coalition of parents and schools, Citizens for Community Values has filed a lawsuit, an original action in mandamus, with the Ohio Supreme Court to stop the Ohio Department of Education from blocking thousands of families across the state from applying for EdChoice scholarships.
CCV will be holding a press conference to discuss the lawsuit today at 1:30 p.m. outside the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Complaint explains that SB 120, which was passed by the General Assembly to block families from applying for EdChoice scholarships, is fundamentally flawed because it does not have an emergency clause. Without that, the legislation cannot go into effect for 90 days (or until May 1st). The Complaint further explains it is unconstitutional for the General Assembly to deny scholarships to newly-eligible families because they’ve made life-altering decisions — relying upon the promise of EdChoice scholarships — since the list was released back in November 2019.
“SB 120 is creating chaos and confusion across Ohio,” said Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values. “Families don’t know where their children are going to attend school, or how to financially plan for the future. Schools cannot budget for the next school year, forecast class sizes and staffing needs, negotiate contracts, or make improvements to their facilities. The bottom line is that children, parents and educators are paying the price for something the General Assembly could – and should – have dealt with long ago.”
Represented by Attorneys Brian Fox and Michael Roberts of the law firm Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, 15 families, and 2 schools have joined CCV, and its Ohio Christian Education Network in filing a Writ of Mandamus with the Ohio Supreme Court, requesting that the Court order the Department of Education to provide newly-eligible EdChoice families access to the scholarships they were counting on.
“While some suppose the moratorium is now in effect, the General Assembly cannot disregard Article II of the Ohio Constitution,” said Attorney Brian Fox. “SB 120 was signed into law on a non-emergency basis. Because the moratorium is not legally operative until May 1st, the Department of Education has but one option — to process applications and award scholarships consistent with EdChoice legal requirements in effect January 30, 2020, the day before the bill was signed into law.”
Read the complaint filed today here.
For more information, contact Citizens for Community Values at [email protected], or 513.733.5775.
As Ohio’s Family Policy Council, Citizens for Community Values seeks the good of our neighbors throughout Ohio by advocating for public policy that reflects the truth of the Gospel. We endeavor to create an Ohio where God’s blessings of life, family, and religious freedom are treasured, respected, and protected.