Government of Nashville v. Tennessee Department of Education - Liberty Justice Center

Government of Nashville v. Tennessee Department of Education

A group of parents and school leaders are urging a state judge to toss Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s lawsuit against a new scholarship program for low-income families. Liberty Justice Center is representing the schools and three families who would qualify to participate in the Education Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program for the 2020-2021 school year.

The new scholarship program was signed into law by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee in 2019. The first of its kind program in the state provides scholarships of approximately $7,000 to children from low-income families so they can attend a school of their choice that fits their unique learning needs. In February 2020, Nashville’s Mayor filed a lawsuit to block the program. He was joined by the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education and Shelby County Government.

The two Memphis schools offer educational opportunities for students from low-income families assigned to chronically low-performing schools. The ESA program would enable the schools to increase their impact and welcome more students. 

All students who would qualify for the ESA program scholarships, including the families represented by Liberty Justice Center, are currently assigned to schools that are consistently and historically the lowest performing in the state. Their families do not have the economic means to move to areas with higher quality schools.

The schools and families maintain that the case should be dismissed. The claims in this lawsuit run directly contrary to the text of the Tennessee constitution and binding Tennessee Supreme Court precedent, as even the Mayor’s legal counsel recognized when he served as the state’s attorney general. Moreover, state law specifically bars the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education from diverting dollars intended to educate kids into this kind of legal action.

Background

Liberty Justice Center filed a Motion to Intervene and a proposed Motion to Dismiss in The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County et al., v. Tennessee Department of Education on February 21, 2020.

Briefs

Motion to Intervene 02/21/2020

Proposed Motion to Dismiss 02/21/2020

Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss 02/21/2020

Reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Intervene 03/04/2020

Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss 03/06/2020

Order Re Motion for Joint Status Conference 04/07/2020

Memorandum Opposing Metro Government Motion for Summary Judgment 04/23/2020

Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss 04/27/2020

Order Granting Metro Government Motion for Summary Judgment 05/04/2020

Application to Appeal to Court of Appeals of Tennessee 05/11/2020

Order Accepting TRAP 9 Appeal 05/19/2020

Tennessee Supreme Court Motion to Accept Jurisdiction from the Court of Appeals 05/20/2020

Press Release, June 4, 2020 06/04/2020

Tennessee Court of Appeals Opening Brief 06/30/2020

Appendix to Tennessee Court of Appeals Opening Brief 06/30/2020

2020-07-30 Intervenor Defendants 07/30/2020

Order Upholding Trial Court 09/29/2020

Appellants Brief 11/24/2020

Appendix to Appellants Brief 11/24/2020

Application for Permission to Appeal 11/24/2020

Order Application Granted 02/04/2021

Supplemental Brief 03/08/2021

Supplemental Appendix 03/08/2021

Reply Brief 04/21/2021

Tennessee Supreme Court Opinion 05/18/2022

Tennessee Supreme Court Dissenting Opinion 05/18/2022

Order Denying Petition for Rehearing 06/13/2022

Defendants' Request for Ruling Prior to July 13 07/01/2022

Order to Vacate Injunction and Dismiss Home Rule count 07/13/2022

Order to consolidate 07/18/2022

Order Scheduling Sept 19 hearing 07/20/2022

McEwen Memo for Temporary Injunction 07/22/2022

Motion for Temporary Injunction and Notice of Motion 07/22/2022

Metro Govt Memorandum Temporary Injunction 07/22/2022

Metro Govt Motion for Temporary Injunction 07/22/2022

Order for expedited briefing and hearing of Motion for Temporary Injunction 07/25/2022

Response in Opposition to MTD 07/28/2022

Attorney General Opposition to Metro Govt Motion for Temporary Injunction 08/01/2022

Institute for Justice Opposition to Motions for Temporary Injunction 08/01/2022

LJC Opposition to McEwen Motion for Temporary Injunction 08/01/2022

LJC Opposition to Metro Govt Motion for Temporary Injunction 08/01/2022

Attorney General Opposition to McEwen Temporary Injunction 08/01/2022

Metro Govt First Amended Complaint 08/03/2022

LJC Motion to Strike 08/03/2022

McEwen First Amended Complaint 08/03/2022

McEwen Reply in Support of Temporary Injunction 08/03/2022

Metro Govt Reply in Support of PIaintiff Counties' Motion for Temporary Injunction 08/03/2022

LJC Motion in Alternative to File Sur-reply 08/04/2022

Order Denying Motion for Temporary Injunction 08/05/2022

Press Release 08/05/2022

Defendant's Motion to Postpone and Stay Discovery 08/08/2022

Memo in Support of Motion to Postpone and Stay 08/08/2022

Consolidated 08/19/2022

Exhibit 1 08/22/2022

Exhibit 2 08/22/2022

Exhibit 3 08/22/2022

Exhibit 4 08/22/2022

Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Stay Discovery 08/22/2022

Christopher M. Wood Declaration 09/02/2022

Plaintiff Counties' Response to Motions to Dismiss and Motion for Judgment 09/02/2022

McEwan Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motions to Dismiss and Renewed Motion for Judgment 09/02/2022

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