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Rules Amended For State's School Choice Program

Julia Ritchey

  Parents waiting for funding from the state’s new Education Savings Account program got good news today. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey has the details.

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz says those accounts will start receiving payments from the his department in February instead of April, pending lawmaker approval.

The state legislature passed a bill on party lines this spring creating the accounts, which allow parents to claim most of their child's state education funding to use toward private or homeschooling.

Grant Hewitt is Treasury spokesman.

"For parents who utilized our early application process, maybe they applied in August and started in a private school, the amount of dollars they have to find out of their pocket, just became less because we're able to fund it sooner."

The treasurer also proposed exempting kindergartners and children of active-duty military personnel from the controversial requirement of attending public school for 100 days before becoming eligible for the money.

Hewitt says they’re moving forward with their plans even though two lawsuits have been brought against the program.

"We are continuing to accept applications and continuing to march toward full implementation starting January 1st, and we're excited to fund accounts in February."

About 3,500 applications have been submitted by parents so far. A final hearing on the changes will be held late next month before those rules are finalized.

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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