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Court Hears Church-State Concerns Over Vouchers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Parraguirre says he’s cognizant of families who are anxiously awaiting a decision on whether a voucher-style education program passes constitutional muster.

His comments came after two back-to-back hearings Friday on legal challenges against Education Savings Accounts, which are on hold as the cases work their way through the court. The program allows parents to claim state education funding and apply it to private school tuition.

Justices in the second hearing honed in on concerns from Americans United for Separation of Church and State that the money unconstitutionally supports religion when it applies to religious private schools.

Lawyers defending the state say parents are the ones choosing where the money will go, and the state keeps its constitutional neutrality because it’s not controlling that choice.

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