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Sometimes, a good idea is enough – and other times, you need a good idea and a lawyer. On topics as diverse as federal health care, protecting freedom of speech and protecting taxpayers and business owners, the Goldwater Institute ensures that government at all levels adheres to the constitution by standing up for taxpayers’ rights in court.

  • Florida's Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts

    Posted on July 31, 2014 | Type: Case

    The Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program (PLSA) was established in 2014 to provide parents the option to better meet the individual needs of their eligible children. Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts are administered by eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations (SFO). Parents of eligible children may use the accounts to purchase approved goods or services, as well as provide for prepaid college plans.

  • Faasse v. Scott

    Posted on July 30, 2014 | Type: Case

    In May 2014, the Florida Legislature passed SB 850, which was a comprehensive education bill. In part, the bill created the innovative Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) program. The purpose of the PLSA Program is to empower parents of special needs children to direct educational funds toward a combination of programs and approved providers in order to address the unique and individualized needs of their children as each parent sees fit. The Florida Education Association (FEA), through its member Tom Faasse, has filed suit challenging SB 850. FEA claims that SB 850 violates the Florida Constitution's "single subject" rule, which requires that every bill passed contain only one subject. However, the subject of SB 850 is clearly education. If FEA prevails in its suit, the PLSA program will be wiped off the books and many families will lose the opportunity give their special needs children the unique and specialized education they need to thrive as adults. FEA’s attorney, Ron Meyer, has called the personalized learning accounts "a collateral casualty" in the lawsuit. The Goldwater Institute has filed to join the State of Florida in opposing the lawsuit in order to protect the right of parents to direct the education of their special needs children.

  • Coons v. Lew (Federal Health Care Lawsuit)

    Posted on May 12, 2014 | Type: Case

    On August 12, 2010 the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit against President Obama's federal health care law. The lawsuit employs two unique arguments not used in any other case against national health care, in combination with the best arguments used in those cases.

  • Cheatham v. DiCiccio

    Posted on April 24, 2014 | Type: Case

    In September, Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. It's called "release time." The Goldwater Institute is taking on the city's contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). By executing this deal with PLEA, the members of the Phoenix City Council have violated the Arizona Constitution and their duty of loyalty to the taxpayers.

  • Brumfield v. Dodd

    Posted on March 03, 2014 | Type: Case

    Attorney General Eric Holder argues the program runs afoul of desegregation orders, which operate in 34 Louisiana school districts. By potentially altering the racial composition of those schools by taking minority children out of failing public schools, the Justice Department asserts the program "frustrates and impedes the desegregation process." It has asked the federal court to forbid future scholarships in those districts until the state requests and receives approval in each of the 22 or more cases that might be affected. It seeks an injunction in Brumfield v. Dodd, a case filed nearly 40 years ago challenging a program that provided state funding for textbooks and transportation for private "segregation academies," to which white students were fleeing to avoid integration. Since 1975, private schools have had to demonstrate that they do not discriminate in order to participate in that program.

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