We are the experts on what's best for our children and that includes the way they are educated. When our education systems are failing us, we have the right to choose a different way. We support the Education Saving's Accounts and hope to see them funded in the near future. We also support Opportunity Scholarships because parents know which education best fits their individual children.
We Support Nevada School Choice Coalition
The Nevada School Choice Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for school choice, which empowers parents to choose the best educational environment for their children, so all children, particularly low-income children, have access to a better, quality education—whether that’s at a public school, private school, charter school, home school or any other learning environment parents choose. We are a project of the American Federation for Children (AFC). For over 25 years, AFC has revolutionized the K-12 system in an effort to take it to a 21st century model where all children, regardless of their socio-economic status, have access to a quality education.
The Opportunity Scholarship, which is a tax credit program, allows corporations to make private donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) that provide scholarships to eligible children. In return, the corporations receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against their Modified Business Tax liability. This program enables corporations to specifically direct their tax liability toward K-12 education. The SGOs then provide K-12 private school scholarships to low-income eligible children. Students can receive a scholarship up to $7,934 for K-12 private school tuition and fees. Currently, there are six approved SGOs in Nevada.
Although Education Savings Accounts passed legislation in the 2015 Legislative Session, they have yet to be funded. In 2017 the Opportunity Scholarship was passed and has already been utilized this fall by children in Nevada for the 2017-2018 school year. Here is the latest update from the Nevada Treasurer's page:
ESA Families, Unfortunately, in the closing hours of Nevada's Legislative session a compromise was not reached that would fund Nevada's Education Savings Account (ESA) Program. Rather the legislature chose to make a one-time increase of 20 million dollars available to Nevada's Opportunity Scholarship program that is operated by Nevada's Department of Education, in conjunction with Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO). Unlike Nevada's nearly universal ESA program, the Opportunity Scholarship is only available to those families whose household income (gross) falls within 300% of the poverty line. In an effort to help ESA families transition to this program, our office received the following information from Nevada's Department of Education to pass along to families interested in exploring this opportunity for School Choice. Go to http://www.doe.nv.gov/Private_Schools/Nevada_Choice_Scholarship_Program/ On the right hand side, under Resources is a link to 2017 Poverty Guidelines (external link) open it and multiply the poverty income for your household size by 3. Compare that amount to your household income (gross). If your income is, equal or less than the product when you multiplied your child will be eligible.
If your family is eligible, in the middle of the page you will see Registered Scholarship Grant Organizations List (pdf). When you click on the list you will find FOUR organizations. Visit their web pages to view their applications. Each of these organizations (SGOs) has its own application and its own deadlines. Complete the application and send the whole package with $25.00 to the SGO. They will determine IF an award will be made and HOW MUCH it will be. You may apply to more than one SGO and your child may receive more than one award. The total may not exceed the maximum allowed - during this school year it was $7,763. While this solution may not work for all families, many ESA families may have an opportunity to utilize this program. if you are interested in contacting the Nevada Department of Education directly please reach out to Donna Wix at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sincerely,
Grant Hewitt Chief of Staff Office of Nevada State Treasurer - Dan Schwartz