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Nevada’s School Choice program – what you need to know

Image credit: http://studentsforliberty.org/
Image credit: http://studentsforliberty.org/

100 days in public school? Are funds available for homeschoolers? Could our family qualify? However you do the math, School Choice is a controversial and potentially confusing topic.

What is commonly referred to as a voucher program or education savings account, can offer public funds to pay for private or other education options, but what could this mean for families here in Nevada?

If you’re confused about School Choice legislation – Education Savings Accounts (SB302) or the Nevada Choice Scholarships (AB165) – you’re not alone. A free, community event, School Choice Information Night is coming May 31st at 6pm hosted on the campus of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School (view details here). This event is a chance to hear directly from three state experts and will also include Q&A time, an opportunity to apply for an Education Savings Account if desired, and light refreshments. For a copy of the event flyer click here.

Nevada’s School Choice program has been praised by proponents, challenged by opponents and left the rest of us scratching our heads. Whether you love it, hate it or are just plain unaware of it, it might be coming… soon.

According to a May 25th article in the RGJ, The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for the last remaining challenge to the School Choice program. The hearing, tentatively scheduled for July 8, will allow both sides to present their cases to the Nevada Supreme Court. The state is defending the School Choice program against a group of seven parents who claim it’s unconstitutional. The court could issue its ruling as soon as a week after the hearing. A favorable ruling would allow Nevada to start funding students’ education savings accounts for this next school year.

Why the need for change? In part, because of how the Silver State stacks up compared to the rest of the country. According the 2015 Annie E. Casey Foundation study, in the category of Education in a state by state comparison, not only is Nevada falling but actually dead last. These findings naturally beg the question: how can our kids move to the head of the class when we’re floundering in fiftieth place?

Now more than ever, parents can’t afford to be left in the dark. The May 31st event aims to bring facts from the experts. Whether or not parents will soon wield the power of school choice remains to be seen, but for now, we must arm ourselves with the best weapon: information.

Amy Ventetuolo

Amy Ventetuolo is a wife, mom, strategic communications and marketing professional and San Diego girl turned Reno transplant. With 15 years of experience working in a variety of agencies and non-profit organizations some of her accomplishments include designing an award-winning communications and marketing department, increasing new user acquisition and by working cross functionally to reach the #1 share in the North San Diego healthcare market. As a mom of two, Amy is passionate about healthcare and education for children. In fall of 2015, Amy and her family relocated to Reno, NV where she quickly became interested in the education dynamics of the region. Amy is currently the Director of Communications for Bishop Manogue Catholic High School. When not brainstorming new development ideas, she loves to spend as much time as possible with her handsome husband and pair of adventurous kiddos.



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