Friday, August 30, 2013
Last week, Derek reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s suit against the Alabama’s school choice/tax credit law here and here. On Monday, a second lawsuit was filed challenging that the Alabama Accountability Act violates the state constitution because of the way the law was enacted and because its tax credits can be used at religious institutions. Plaintiffs Daniel Boyd, the superintendent of the Lowndes County Public School System; Anita Gibson, a teacher and the president of the Alabama Education Association; and state Senator Quinton T. Ross, Jr. are suing the state revenue commissioner and the comptroller as the officials responsible for implementing and administering the AAA. The lawsuit alleges that the AAA is constitutionally deficient for several reasons, including that the enacted version was substantially different than the version that was originally passed by the state House of Representatives. Within the space of a few hours, the complaint alleges, a substitute version of the school choice bill (HB. 84) was adopted that was three times longer than the original, had a new title, and added two new tax credits to fund the education of Alabama children in private schools. The complaint also alleges that the AAA’s tax credits redirects public funds to private religious schools, thus violating Article XIV, § 263 of the Alabama Constitution (“[n]o money raised for the support of the public schools shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian or denominational school.”) Read the complaint in Boyd, et al., v. Magee, Comm. Dep’t of Revenue here.