- Cullman, Alabama

August 19, 2013

STATE: Lawsuit challenges Ala. private school tax credits

Southern Poverty Law Center files suit over new education law

Associated Press
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY — The Southern Poverty Law Center is challenging a new Alabama law that provides tax credits to families that transfer their children from failing public schools to private schools.

The Montgomery-based law center contends the Alabama Accountability Act discriminates against impoverished students in central Alabama counties because they can’t afford to go to private schools and the non-failing public schools in nearby counties are not accessible. The center filed the federal court suit Monday on behalf of families of several middle school students in central Alabama. The suit challenges the law on equal protection grounds, and it asks a federal judge to permanently block the law.

One of the plaintiffs, Mariah Russaw, said she couldn’t afford the transportation costs even if her grandson could leave Barbour County Junior High in Clayton.