School Choice & Charters

Nevada Governor Proposes Funding to Revive Sweeping School Choice Program

By Arianna Prothero — January 19, 2017 1 min read

Nevada’s sweeping school voucher-like program, which has been in legal limbo for a year, may get a reboot this spring.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval included $60 million in his proposed budget, announced this week, for the state’s education savings account program.

Additionally, a district court judge gave permission to the state’s treasurer to continue accepting applicants into the program, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. The program had been put on hold last year, while disputes over its legality were hammered out.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in October that the program was unconstitutional because of the way it was funded—something supporters say can be fixed through legislation. Sandoval pledged in November to help state lawmakers get the new program up and running.

Education savings accounts are a relatively new type of school-choice program. Similar to vouchers, families can use state funds (specifically the per-pupil funding allocated for their children) to pay for tuition at private K-12 schools, including religious schools. But unlike vouchers, families can use that money on a variety of other education-related expenses, such as tutoring or home schooling supplies, so long as they are approved by the state.

Nevada’s program is unique because all students who have attended public school are eligible. Most other voucher-type programs limit who can participate in the program to students from low-income families, students zoned to attend failing schools, or students with disabilities.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.