Shea v. Nevada (Education Adequacy Lawsuit)

After years of chronic underperformance of Nevada’s public schools and critical lack of resources, a group of parents with children in public schools sued the State of Nevada for not upholding its constitutional obligation to provide its students with sufficient resources to meet the state’s own mandated standards.

Read press release here

Shea v. Nevada highlights the State’s chronic and longstanding failure to provide the essential resources students need to be successful. This has led to Nevada schools facing the largest class sizes in the nation, high teacher vacancies, lack of updated equipment and textbooks, cuts to art and music programs and minimal resources to serve students with unique needs.

The parent plaintiffs reside throughout the state, in both urban and rural communities. Many of their children require additional supports to meet their unique needs, which include being English learners, at-risk, gifted and talented or having  a disability or learning difference.

Educate Nevada Now of The Rogers Foundation, along with pro bono partners Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, and Holland & Hart represent the parents.

See complaint here

Prior to Shea v. State Nevada was one of only three states that had not had an education adequacy lawsuit.

The goal of the complaint is to ensure that all Nevada students receive the resources they need to be successful and meet state standards. 

It’s time for Nevada to step up and prioritize its students and our K-12 public schools!


Prior to Shea v. Nevada, the Silver state was one of only three states in the nation that had not been sued for failing to meet its constitutional obligation to provide students with the resources they need. Lawsuits with this level of complexity can be lengthy and tedious and it is not unexpected for a lawsuit like this to take a few years to be decided. The teams representing the parents and students in Shea v. Nevada will be working diligently for a positive resolution.

March 4, 2020Shea v. Nevada filed. Parents and students made history by filing a complaint with Nevada’s First Judicial District Court to declare the current K-12 education system unconstitutional, as the State has failed to meet its obligation to provide sufficient resources for students to meet or exceed state standards and mandates.

Educate Nevada Now of theThe Rogers Foundation, along with pro bono partners Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, and Holland and Hart are representing the parents in this case.

April 23, 2020 – State of Nevada files a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. 

October 7, 2020 – Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson dismisses lawsuit due to questions of whether the judiciary has the authority and manageable standards to decide the case. 

“The court’s decision is not unexpected because this is such a novel case for this state, but we look forward to making our case to the Nevada Supreme Court on behalf of Nevada students. To be clear, the judge made no determination on whether Nevada students have the resources they need but whether the courts should be the ones to decide if the state is meeting its constitutional obligation. There is no doubt, based on student achievement outcomes and dismal school resources, that the State has failed our students for too long, and we look forward to making our case during the next phase of the lawsuit.  .” Bradley Schrager, Esq.

November 2020 – Parents file Notice of Appeal  

Share Your Story!

Parents and educators, do you think Nevada needs to do more to improve resources for schools? Use the form below to share your story.