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Nevada’s New Voucher Plan Is Designed to Bankrupt Public Schools

July 31, 2015 in Blogs

By Jan Resseger, janresseger

Now they're pushing vouchers for upper-income families.

Nevada is one of our nation’s 24 one-party, all Republican statesWriting for the Washington Post, Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown note that, “In January, Republicans took control of the Nevada legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time since 1929, generating the political momentum to enact the country’s most expansive voucher plan. …Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state’s public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling… Nevada’s law is singular because all of the state’s 450,000 K-12 public school children—regardless of income—are eligible to take the money to whatever school they choose.” A child must be enrolled in a public school for at least 100 days in order to qualify.

Layton and Brown report that the new Nevada voucher bill was developed with the assistance of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the foundation Jeb Bush launched in 2008, but from which he resigned at the end of 2014 to prepare for his presidential run. The Foundation’s chief executive Patricia Levesque describes Nevada’s new voucher bill: “This is the wave of the future.  In all aspects of our life, we look for ways to customize and give individuals more control over their path and destiny…. This is a fundamental shift in how we make decisions about education.”

The Education Law Center recently circulated an analysis of Nevada’s new school vouchers from Educate Nevada Now, a statewide organization that promotes public education:

“The ESA (Education Savings Account) law requires the ‘statewide average basic support per pupil’—$5,100 per student and $5,710 for low-income and students with disabilities—be deposited into each ESA (Education Savings Account) from local district budgets, a process that will divert, over time, substantial resources from the public schools.  Studies have shown that Nevada substantially underfunds K-12 public education… ESAs will trigger an outflow of funds from already inadequate school district budgets, beginning in the 2015-16 school year… As children leave public schools …read more


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