© 2023 KUNR
Celebrating 60 years in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KUNR’s fall fund drive starts Monday, Oct. 2, and listener support is what makes our services possible. Click here to make a gift today.

Nevada legislators reject use of COVID relief funds for opportunity scholarships

A man in a gray suit and a black tie speaks into a microphone.
Nevada State Legislature via YouTube
Las Vegas Assemblyman Howard Watts makes a motion to request Lombardo's request on August 9, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Nevada legislators on the Interim Finance Committee have rejected a proposal from Governor Joe Lombardo to send federal COVID relief funds to the opportunity scholarship program.

In a party-line 15 to 7 vote, the committee’s Democratic majority rejected the Republican governor’s request to send $3.2 million to three of the six scholarship-granting organizations, or SGOs.

Those three had been left without funding for the upcoming year after one organization, the AAA Scholarship Foundation, had taken all of the available tax credits. AAA carried over $13.4 million in reserves from last year and then received the full 6.7 million dollars in tax credits.

“It’s been clear what we’ve learned from today is that the Opportunity Scholarship process is broken and that is something that we are, that this body is going to need to address, but what we’ve also learned today is that money is there to support all the students that are currently on the program to continue to go back,” said Las Vegas Assemblyman Howard Watts.

Much of the back and forth between Democrats and Republicans over the program centered on how much advance notice legislators received about the lack of funds in the program. Committee members also asked pointed questions about how many students would lose their scholarships and the financial management of the SGOs.

Republicans made it clear that legislators could send the funds to the program and work to fix it in the future.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
Related Content