Three major civil rights legal teams are challenging vouchers in Tennessee: the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Education Law Center.


April 27, 2020

Ashley Levett, SPLC, / 334-296-0084

Sharon Krengel, ELC, / 973-624-1815, x24

Lindsay Kee, ACLU-TN, / 615-320-7142

Christopher Wood, Robbins Geller, / 615- 244-2203

Court Hearing to Block Implementation of Tennessee School Voucher Law Set for April 29

Nashville, Tenn. – On Wednesday, April 29, Chancellor Anne C. Martin of the Chancery Court for Davidson County will hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) Pilot Program, the private school voucher law passed in 2019.

The voucher program diverts scarce public education funding to private schools and applies only to Nashville and Memphis students, in violation of several provisions of the Tennessee Constitution as well as state statutes. At the request of Governor Bill Lee, the program will begin issuing vouchers this fall, a year earlier than the law requires.

The plaintiffs in McEwen v. Lee, who are public school parents and community members from Nashville and Memphis, are seeking a temporary injunction to stop the state from implementing the voucher program until the court rules on the constitutionality of the voucher law. Oral arguments on their motion will be heard on Wednesday at 10 a.m. CT.

Also during Wednesday’s hearing, the Court will hear oral argument for summary judgement in a separate lawsuit challenging the voucher law brought by Davidson and Shelby Counties and the Metro Nashville Board of Public Education.

The hearing will be conducted by video conference and live stream. Members of the public can watch online, though a link will likely not be available until shortly before the hearing starts. A member of our communications team will send the link to reporters as soon as it becomes available.

Please email Ashley Levett at to ensure you are on the press list to receive this link or to schedule an interview.