education savings account

Paul Boger

Education Savings Accounts have become an incredibly controversial topic in Nevada since lawmakers approved the voucher program in 2015. So far between 8,000 and 9,000 students have signed-up for the program despite a Nevada Supreme Court decision striking down the state's previous attempts to fund the ESA’s.

Jumping, clapping and waving bright yellow scarves on the steps of the amphitheater at the State Capitol in Carson City, hundreds of children danced to the music of Justin Timberlake as part of a rally in support of Nation School Choice Week.

Nevada's High Court Scrutinizes School Choice Program

Jul 29, 2016
Nevada Supreme Court

The Nevada Supreme Court heard arguments today both for and against the state's sweeping school choice program. 

The high court heard two challenges to Nevada's Education Savings Account program, or ESAs, passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last year.

The ESAs are designed to give parents the state's per-pupil allocation, roughly $5,000, to pay for private school tuition and other qualified programs.

At question in the first challenge is whether the state inappropriately diverted funds from public schools.

Judge Halts Nevada's School Choice Program

Jan 11, 2016
Alexa Ard

A judge has ordered a halt to Nevada's Education Savings Account program, just weeks before the state was to begin issuing money to families.

Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction on Monday that orders the state treasurer to stop implementing the accounts pending further court review. 

The Republican-backed program allows parents to claim more than $5,000 in state funds each year and use it for qualified education expenses, including religious-based private schools. 

State Officials Spat Over Third ESA Lawsuit

Jan 11, 2016
www.stockmonkeys.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison is firing back after other state officials have chastised him for filing a private lawsuit against the state’s Education Savings Account program. Our Contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

The ESA law was passed last year but is being contested in two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The program would allow families to receive state money to attend schools of their choice, including religious-based schools.

Rules Amended For State's School Choice Program

Oct 20, 2015
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.

Education Savings Accounts: Get The Facts, Fast!

Sep 3, 2015
Gabriella Benavidez

There's a lot of information, and confusion, surrounding Nevada's new Education Savings Account program. To get the lowdown, check out our handy infographic:

Alexa Ard

Although some in the state legislature are selling Nevada’s new education savings account program as a benefit for low-income students, many Washoe County families don't see it as a realistic option for them.

I wanted to see if parents and students at Reno's low-income public schools had heard of the ESA program, and what they thought of it. So I hit the streets just as school was letting out.

“Have you heard about the Education Savings Account program in Nevada?”

“No”

“No, sorry me no.”

“Have you heard about the Education Savings Account program?”

All week KUNR has been looking into the challenges of implementing the new Education Savings Account program for our series Nevada’s Gamble on School Choice. Some have questioned whether the program is unconstitutional because the funds can be used at private religious schools. The State Constitution says, “No public money of any kind…shall be used for sectarian purposes.” But some, including Kristopher Dahir the director of Excel Christian Academy in Sparks, say once parents are given an account, the money in it belongs to them similar to a tax refund.

Alexa Ard

Excitement is building around Nevada’s Education Savings Account (ESA) Program, which will give eligible families about $5,000 a year to subsidize their child’s private or home school education. 

But as the application process gets underway, many parents are also voicing a lot of confusion and frustration. For the latest on the situation, Reno Public Radio’s News Director Michelle Bliss reached out to State Treasurer Dan Schwartz whose office is running the program. 

State's 100-Day Rule Vexes Private School Parents

Aug 31, 2015
Alexa Ard

  This week our news team is taking an in depth look at the state's new Education Savings Account program in a five-part series called Nevada's Gamble on School Choice. To kick things off, our reporter Julia Ritchey tells us how private school parents are at arms over one of the most controversial elements of the law: the so-called 100-days rule. 

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