The Tennessee Court of Appeals decided Tuesday that the state’s school voucher program cannot be implemented until the state’s appeal is resolved.
The latest ruling comes a week after two libertarian groups working on behalf of four parents filed an emergency motion citing the state’s tight rollout deadline as a reason to move forward with the program. The state has said that the time between now and June 15 is crucial to being able to launch the program this fall.
A lower court has deemed the Education Savings Accounts Act is unenforceable, because it violates the state’s Home Rule Amendment, since it applied to only two counties without their consent. Nashville Chancellor Anne Martin ordered the Department of Education to put its voucher program on pause while its legal status is being sorted out.
On Tuesday, the appeals court upheld that order but allowed the state to appeal the Chancery Court’s order on an expedited basis.
Oral arguments have been scheduled for Aug. 5, 2020.
According to the order, the appeal should be limited to “whether the trial court erred in ruling that the ESA Program violates the Home Rule Amendment” and “whether the trial court erred in ruling that the county government plaintiffs have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the ESA Program.”
Read the order here.