Court declines to block Tennessee's private school voucher program

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A judicial panel declined Friday to block Tennessee's private school voucher program from launching this school year, as the state began accepting applications from families in Memphis and Nashville seeking taxpayer money to pay for a private education.

The judges said plaintiffs in two lawsuits against the state, including one from local governments in the two cities, failed to show that a second injunction against the program was warranted.

"Specifically, we are unpersuaded that the harm the plaintiffs believe to be imminent is sufficiently irreparable or certain so as to justify blocking the implementation" of the state law at this stage of the litigation, the judges wrote.

In their 13-page decision, the judges also said they weren't convinced the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their remaining challenges to Tennessee's 2019 education savings account law.