EdChoice VP of Legal Affairs on Supreme Court of Puerto Rico dismissing challenge to vouchers, charters

INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, released the following statement from Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner on the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico’s ruling in Asociación de Maestros v. Departamento de Educación:

“Today, children in Puerto Rico won a great victory when the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico dismissed the teachers’ union challenge to vouchers and charter schools, overturning a lower court ruling. EdChoice applauds the leaders of Puerto Rico and the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico for their commitment to reforming education, by offering opportunity for children to access the education they need to succeed.

“The American Federation of Teachers-Puerto Rico, backed by their national union in the United States, the American Federation of Teachers, brought a challenge to Puerto Rico’s new education reform laws, enacted this spring, which aim to provide quality education to children in the Commonwealth. The case is Asociación de Maestros v. Departamento de Educación.

“On July 13, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court accepted the case and, in a highly unusual move, gave lawyers on both sides five business days to file briefs. The Court noted that there was a great sense of urgency to improve education in Puerto Rico, and they were not willing to wait to decide whether the most recent reforms were constitutional. Five business days later, on July 20 the plaintiffs, defendants, intervening parents represented by our friends at the Institute for Justice, and EdChoice (as an amicus) filed briefs with the Court; two others, the ACLU-Puerto Rico and an association of teachers groups filed motions asking permission to file amicus briefs. The amicus briefs ultimately were not considered in the disposition of this case.

“True to their word, the Supreme Court issued their ruling before the beginning of this next school year, with classes scheduled to begin next week.”