Date set for final ESA regulations hearing

Save the date, friends!

One last time for the Treasurer to get your input, so make your voice heard at the upcoming hearing for the Adoption of Regulations for Nevada’s Education Savings Account program. The hearing will be on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at 10:00 A.M. 

You can find a draft of the final proposed regulations here.

Just like the other two ESA hearings, this meeting will be held at the Legislative Building in Carson City with video conference to the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas:

Legislative Building                                                  Grant Sawyer State Office Building

Suite 4100                                                                 Suite 4401

401 S. Carson Street                                                555 E. Washington Avenue

Carson City, NV                                                        Las Vegas, NV

The Treasurer's office again encourages anyone who has concerns about the regulations to provide their testimony in writing prior to the meeting by emailing it to: 

As always, I encourage everyone to participate in the process, whether you simply go to the hearing and watch, submit your comments in writing or speak at the hearing. Community turn-out and participation at previous hearings is to be applauded! Keep up the momentum.

If you saw the two previous meetings, you know it's reasonable to expect tremendous public participation — YAY! — this time around. Therefore, I would recommend submitting lengthy written comments in advance and summarizing orally in 2-3 minutes the key points during the hearing on October 20.

Remember, be sure you sign-in at the hearing — your attendance will be counted in the record. Typically, there should be copies of the proposed regulations by the sign-in sheet.  If not, don't be fearful about asking a staff person for a copy if you need one. Staff was wonderful in getting copies for us Las Vegas folks at the last hearing!  

Once the Treasurer adopts the regulations, they will be forwarded to the Legislative Commission for final approval. I'll be sure to let you know when that meeting is posted — hopefully in November. My fingers are crossed that this will all be final and other aspects of ESAs can move forward.

Speaking of moving forward, be sure to turn in your early application by November 30.  You've probably heard about the two lawsuits filed to try and stop the ESA program.  Well, they haven't stop anything so far and the treasurer's office wants parents to know early applications are still ongoing.  You can find the application here.  For an application in Spanish, click here.

As always, feel free to send me an email or call with any questions!




Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

When I returned to NPRI late this summer, the Institute and friends like yourself were just wrapping up our annual teacher union opt-out campaign.

It’s an effort that’s run for the last four years, and it informs Nevada educators and school district employees of their rights to opt out of union membership. Unlike states like California, Nevada workers enjoy the freedom to join — or not join — a union as they please. Their job and compensation are unaffected by not joining a union. But once teachers and other school district employees join their local affiliate of the Nevada State Education Association, they can only opt out between July 1 to 15.

This year, we received an email from a teacher that sums up why we do what we do.

Thank you for sending this out! I dropped my membership last year after 13 years of paying in because I thought I had to. We really need to get the word out regarding how our dues are spent! Thanks again for your effort!

That was one of numerous emails we received this summer after NPRI emailed teachers throughout the state informing them of their right to leave the union. We also reached teachers — including new teachers that are pressured to join the union at teacher orientation — through billboards positioned along busy thoroughfares and media coverage.

And the work paid off! As detailed in Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, membership in the Clark County Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union plummeted over the summer.

Our campaign and your efforts letting teachers in our circles of influence know about this option paid off in a big way.

In Clark County, 1,338 teachers either left the union after our educational campaign or chose not to join in the first place. That means 1,338 Clark County teachers joined thousands of other teachers who have, in recent years, decided to keep nearly $800 of would-be union dues in their pockets each year and exercise their personal freedom.

In the four years NPRI has led this effort, membership in the CCEA has fallen from 67 percent to 52 percent, with 7 percent of that drop being this year alone.

Teachers in Washoe County also exercised their right to choose and many left the union. A total of 163 teachers — or 4 percent of the Washoe Education Association’s members — left or chose not to join the union this summer.

Between Clark and Washoe, teachers are keeping over $1 million of their own money, instead of giving it to union bosses for causes they may disagree with.

Many teachers — a near majority in both Clark and Washoe — aren’t happy with their current union representation or they don’t see the value of paying hundreds of dollars a year to belong to a union that gives them little, if anything, in exchange for their dues. In the case of Clark County teachers, the CCEA was chosen as the official bargaining agent for teachers in 1969. We’ve found that over 99 percent of teachers working there today never had a voice in who represents them.

Teachers and all union members in Nevada deserve the chance to vote for their union representation. Lawmakers can make this happen by requiring unions to regularly be voted in by their members, ensuring unions are accountable to the people who fund them. It’s an idea NPRI pushed for in this past Legislative Session and will continue to fight for in the future.

And, you and the teacher whose email I shared above can be certain: We will continue to educate teachers until all of them know their rights.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

Remember, if you'd like to receive the latest from NPRI, sign-up for our emails here.


The faces of ESAs

Hello friends,

The last time I wrote you, I asked you to send me your stories of what Nevada’s new Education Savings Accounts program means for you and your family.

I’ve heard from many of you. You’ve shared the stories of children long struggling in one-size-fits all classrooms that couldn’t possibly meet their unique needs; of kids who are high-performers, but due to lack of finances, have been unable to attend a school where they’re fully challenged; and from parents hoping their child will be the first college graduate in their family, if only he or she gets the chance to move out of a failing school into one that is exceptional.

We’re still looking for stories, so if you haven’t yet shared your account of how an Education Savings Account will help your child or your family, please reach out to me, by email or by phone, 702-222-0642. The personal stories are especially important as the State of Nevada, Nevada Policy Research Institute and other groups work to protect this program and ensure it is available for the children who so desperately need options.

As you’ve likely heard by now, two lawsuits threaten the future of this program. While the Treasurer’s office is still accepting applications and the program is on solid Constitutional ground, the powers at be, the media and the citizens of Nevada need to hear just who is being hurt by these baseless attacks: the children.

Fortunately, the Institute for Justice has come forward to help defend Nevada ESAs and, over the weekend, released a short video that provides a glimpse of the innocent children and families that will be hurt if opponents of school choice have their way. I encourage you to take a look at the video, then email me your story. As I mentioned before, it can be a short email or a more detailed one, but please put “ESA Story” in the subject line.

In the months going forward, NPRI will be sharing these stories as we work to preserve this important program. And I will keep you updated on everything you need to know to ensure your child has the brightest future possible.



Federal Lands

Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

When Sen. Ted Cruz came to Las Vegas last month to talk about what he’d do if elected president, Nevada Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman had one question for him.

Pointing to her copy of Solutions 2015, Assemblywoman Seaman asked Sen. Cruz where he stands on the issue of federal lands and what he, if elected, would do to transfer to the state some of the more than 56 million acres of Nevada soil the federal government occupies.

His position, as he explained it, is one I hope all presidential candidates — Democrat, Republican, or otherwise — take: the lands should be transferred to Nevada.

If you’ve been with the Institute for any length of time, you have likely read some of our previous publications and studies on the issue of federal lands and the problems that Nevada experiences as a result of over 81 percent of  its territory being held by an institution 3,000 miles away.

Because the federal government owns a greater percentage of Nevada than any other state, no candidate should leave the state without saying how he or she will allow Nevada and its residents to finally experience prosperity off property that is rightfully theirs. Even with title to just a portion of these federal lands, Nevada could generate millions of dollars a year and tens of thousands of jobs could be created.

An analysis produced by Nevada’s Land Management Task Force showed that local jurisdictions could generate $205.8 million a year if they were allowed to lease and sell just 7.2 million acres currently controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. With access to 45 million acres — leaving National Parks, military bases, Indian Reservations and wilderness areas designated by Congress untouched — local jurisdictions could generate $1.3 billion per year.

Transferring federally held lands to their rightful owners would also save taxpayers from across the country money, considering the amount of tax dollars the federal government wastes managing the acreage. According to the Property and Environment Research Center, for every dollar the federal government spends managing land, it loses 27 cents. States, on the other hand, create an average of $14.51 for each dollar they spend on such efforts.

The list of reasons to transfer the lands to Nevada go on and on (and are something we’ll be delving deeper into in an upcoming publication), but they all boil down to the fact that, as long as the federal government claims title to the vast majority of Nevada lands, the Silver State is helpless to achieve its full potential.

Fortunately, this important issue is not going unnoticed by some Presidential candidates and by concerned groups. Next week, the Black Mountain Institute will be hosting a panel discussion on the issue, aptly called, “This land is your land … or is it?”

The panel will include Gary Snyder, an environmentalist who has been called the “poet laureate of deep ecology;” Timothy Egan, a New York Times columnist and award-winning author; and economist and writer Terry L. Anderson, one of the leading advocates of free-market environmentalism. Virginia Scharff, a Western historian and director of the Center for the Southwest at the University of New Mexico, will moderate the panel.

The event, which I encourage you to attend if you’re in the Las Vegas area, will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 24 in the Philip J. Cohen Theatre at the University of Las Vegas student union.

And, I encourage you to brush up on federal lands issues so if you happen to meet one of the many, many candidates for President, you can ask what he or she would do to make Nevada as prosperous as it can be. I know I will.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

Remember, if you'd like to receive the latest from NPRI, sign-up for our emails here.



Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Now that I’ve been back at NRPI for some time and had the opportunity to speak with and meet many of you and hear your hopes and concerns for Nevada, I’d like to share my vision for NPRI and show you what I believe we can accomplish together.

Based on the feedback I’ve received from so many of you over the past month and a half, it seems we’re all in agreement that the last Legislative Session was disappointing, to say the least. Despite the fact that we voters shot down a gross receipts tax just months earlier, our lawmakers passed a $1.5 billion tax increase, including a commerce tax that’s similar to the defeated margin tax in all the worst ways.

I, like many of you, am disheartened by the many Nevada lawmakers who rejected the will of the people and championed these destructive tax hikes.

But I won’t give up, and neither should you. The fight isn’t over.

NPRI, through our Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation, is looking at the constitutionality of the commerce tax. Because the commerce tax has 27 different rates, we believe in may violate the Constitutional mandate, which says, “The Legislature shall provide by law for a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation ...”

We are also going to tell the stories of businesses that are hurt by this tax increase to make sure the public, the media and policy makers know how tax hikes affect the ordinary, working people who make Nevada great.

And, we plan to make it known which lawmakers voted like fiscal conservatives and which didn’t in our upcoming Legislative Review and Report Card. In this publication and others, we will continue to hold policy makers accountable to Nevada voters for their actions — good or bad. 

There are also two tax increases going to the ballot next year — a gas tax increase and a tax increase for school construction in Washoe County.  Just as we successfully did with the defeated margin tax, we will let Nevada citizens know why those tax increases aren’t necessary and show what will happen to working Nevadans, families, businesses and the economy if those taxes are approved.

We also are working to maximize and protect the one positive reform that came from the Legislative Session: Education Savings Accounts. As you’ve seen, we recently rolled out a new website,, and our staff have been meeting with parents and community members daily to inform them about this new program.

And now that this program is being challenged in court by the ACLU and other special interest groups — as we suspected it would be — NPRI’s work to help as many families as possible apply for ESAs while they can is more important than ever.

So far, over 3,000 applications have been filed, meaning there will be over 3,000 families standing to protect this groundbreaking program from those who want to limit choice and keep children in failing schools. Once it begins early next year, Nevada’s ESA program will be the most popular such school choice program in the country, proving that Nevada families are desperate to provide quality education to their children. 

This is our chance to show Nevada’s education establishment, and the rest of the country that school choice works. Having a successful ESA program won’t just improve educational outcomes for students, it’ll be the best guard we have against future tax increases.

What do you think of our priorities? Feel free to email me at any time.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

Remember, if you'd like to receive the latest from NPRI, sign-up for our emails here.


American Dream

Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Earlier this week, another Presidential candidate made his way to Nevada, and, during a speech in Reno, warned about the American Dream slipping away.

“People are starting to believe that the American Dream is starting to slip from their reach,” Sen. Marco Rubio reportedly told a crowd of 500. “And you know what? If we keep doing what we are doing, that is exactly what will happen.”

As I read his warnings, I couldn’t help but think of Victor Fuentes, a man who is already seeing his American Dream slip away, unfortunately at the hands of the federal government. Just a day before Rubio spoke in Reno, the Las Vegas Sun featured Victor and his case, which is being fought by NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation.

The feature — which I encourage you to take a few minutes to read — tells the story of a man who swam seven miles to escape the tyranny of Cuba, sought asylum in the United States and eventually purchased a camp for his church in the Nevada desert. He had achieved what immigrants and natural-born citizens all hope for.

Now, that American Dream he’s worked for over 20 years to achieve has all but been destroyed by the Fish & Wildlife Service.

In 2010, acting contrary to the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, the federal government rerouted a spring-fed stream that ran through the church’s private property since at least 1881, moving it just outside the property line. On Christmas Eve and after the first significant rainfall, the stream returned to its historical path and the ensuing flooding damaged the church camp to the tune of $86,000. And, since the stream was moved off the property, Victor and his church, Ministerio Roca Solida (Solid Rock), are unable to baptize people in the stream’s waters at their Patch of Heaven camp.

The case, which is being fought in courts here in Nevada and a portion of which could be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, raises several important questions: Is it OK for the federal government to take a person’s property (in this case, water) without due process? In violating a person’s Constitutional rights, may the federal government also cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage without compensation? May the federal government prevent its people from carrying out their religion?

The case is important for all Americans and it’s precisely why the CJCL took on this case years ago. If the federal government is allowed to prevail in this case, not only will one man’s American Dream be forever destroyed, but a dangerous precedent will be set that chips away at others’ hopes of achieving the American Dream as well.

The American Dream is something worth fighting for and with the support of people like you who are willing to stand up to unconstitutional acts by the government, it will continue to be something Americans work to achieve for generations to come.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

Remember, if you'd like to receive the latest from NPRI, sign-up for our emails here.


Margin tax vs. commerce tax: same fundamentals, different particulars

There has been much debate over the differences between and similarities of the margin tax and the newly imposed commerce tax, especially with efforts to repeal the commerce tax underway.

The two taxes are fundamentally the same — they are both gross receipts taxes. There are only so many categories of taxes, for instance: sales tax, property tax, personal income tax, corporate income tax and gross receipt taxes. 

Although commerce tax supporters don’t like labeling the commerce tax as a modified version of the margin tax, even they acknowledge that it is a gross receipts tax.

As gross receipt taxes, both taxes have many structural things in common, outlined well by the Tax Foundation.

1. Both have a simple structure: Tax gross receipts
2. Tax business sales over the selected threshold
3. Apply to almost all transactions 
4. Create tax pyramiding issues

Instead, what supporters of the commerce tax focus on what makes the margin and commerce taxes different types of gross receipts taxes.

And there are differences on the particulars of the margin tax and the commerce tax.

1. The tax rate: 2 percent vs. 27 different rates
2. The tax floor: $1 million vs. $4 million
3. How affiliated group is defined
4. What does and doesn't count as revenue

It’s a bit like asking if baseball and softball are similar or not. You can point to many differences in particulars — the size of the ball, length between bases and how pitches are thrown — but it’s easy to see that softball has more in common with baseball than with sports like football, tennis or basketball.


A new idea for energy: Let markets work

Last week, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid had his annual green energy summit. The keynote speaker was President Barack Obama who stated, “For decades we've been told it doesn't make economic sense to switch to renewable energy. Today that's no longer true.”

That sounds wonderful, right? The implication is that government is no longer going to pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace; instead they’re going to let businesses compete on their merits. If only that was true. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s report on the summit:

[Obama’s] almost 30-minute speech came on the heels of executive actions aimed at increasing green energy use — and solar power in particular — across the nation. They include $1 billion in additional federal loan guarantees for renewable projects and another $10 billion in loan guarantees for so-called distributed energy projects such as micro-power stations and rooftop solar arrays, according to White House advance materials.

The Department of Energy is also paving the way for states and state-affiliated "green banks" to loan money for green energy projects, while the Federal Housing Administration will provide FHA-backed loans to finance home energy projects. ...

The president began his speech by touting previous green energy initiatives launched by his administration to combat climate change, spur innovation and create jobs.

"Now is not the time to pull back on these investments," he said.

Here’s an observation. If the government has to offer loan guarantees on top of tax credits and rebates to get consumers to use a product, that product doesn’t make economic sense on its own.

With that perspective, let’s examine the two major energy debates Nevada is facing: Net-metering and NV Energy’s new rate case.

Chuck Muth has a great explanation on net-metering here, but basically the government provides the previously listed financial incentives to lower the cost of purchasing the solar panels, and then forces NV Energy to pay homeowners a certain rate for the excess solar that they generate.

Installers of rooftop solar panels want NV Energy to pay homeowners 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour generated by rooftop solar panels. NV Energy wants to pay homeowners 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

The other issue is the rate case NV Energy has submitted to regulators. The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that NV Energy’s rate plan seems to be designed to create the need to build a new power plant. As NPRI has noted previously noted, as a regulated monopoly, NV Energy’s financial interests don’t always align with the financial interests of consumers.

As a regulated monopoly, NV Energy is guaranteed a return on equity of 10.5
percent. It is from this return on equity that NV Energy’s shareholders derive their

This regulatory structure gives NV Energy and similarly regulated utilities a
perverse incentive: It financially rewards them if they can get state lawmakers to
impose on them more costly and inefficient production methods.

The math is simple: If the utility is required to produce through more costly means
and shareholder profits are guaranteed as a percentage of those costs, then
shareholders make more money by producing less efficiently. Ratepayers — facing a
private, yet government‐enforced monopoly — have no choice among providers and
so are effectively forced to pay the higher rates that result.

The problem isn’t that one side is right or wrong in either of these debates. The problem is the system is broken and needs to be fixed by eliminating government mandates and monopolies.

If you’re a consumer and you want to buy power from a company that freely pays you 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour for rooftop solar — and such a company exists — you should be able to do that. If you’re a consumer and you don’t want your power company paying 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour for your neighbor’s rooftop solar, because you think it’ll increase your costs, you should be able to do that.

If you want to pay more for power generated from “green” sources, you should be able to do that. If you want to buy cheap and reliable power from coal, you should be able to do that. That’s how energy deregulation has worked in Texas where companies advertise not only their rates, but the amount of energy produced by renewable sources.

When consumers can make these decisions, there are many different decisions made, because individual consumers value competing priorities differently. But when the system forces regulators to make a single, binding decision, there will always be winners and losers and unintended system-wide consequences.

Or in the wise words of the rap-version of F.A. Hayek:

Let prices work.
If we don't try to steer them,
They won't go berserk.


Employee freedom

Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Four years ago, our NPRI team did something that seemed small. We told Clark County School District teachers that they could opt out of union membership and when and how to do so.

What we didn’t know then was that our initial efforts would blossom into a nationwide movement called National Employee Freedom Week that is spearheaded by NPRI.

What we found in 2011 is that hundreds of teachers already wanted to leave the Clark County Education Association. They simply didn’t know they could or when and how to do so.

When NPRI told them, union membership dropped by over 800 teachers, and teachers got to keep over $630,000 of their own money out of the hands of union officials. Since 2011, NPRI’s in-state information campaign has continued, and in total, we’ve helped over 2,100 teachers and support staff workers opt out of membership in the Nevada State Education Association. Combined, those workers have taken over $3 million that would have gone to union bosses and kept it for their families.

NPRI realized that if that many union members in one school district in just one state wanted out of their union that there must be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of union members who also wanted to leave. They either didn’t know they could leave or when and how to do so.

So, we created a campaign to tell them — National Employee Freedom Week. Running from August 16 to 22 this year, NEFW is a week for groups all around the country to tell folks in their circles of influence that they can opt out of union membership.

In 2013, we had 65 groups join in. In 2014, we had 81 groups. This year, we had 102 groups from around the nation join in National Employee Freedom Week.

These groups spread the message from coast to coast, including over a dozen op-eds in newspapers like the Oregonian, Washington Times, Boston Herald and The Hill. There were radio interviews in states like Washington and Illinois. More importantly, there are currently 10 groups around the country running information campaigns letting specific union workers know about their ability to opt out and when and how to do so. NPRI has worked with most of those groups sharing what we did and have learned.

We estimate that these campaigns will cost union officials over $10 million in the next year. That’s $10 million they can’t spend on politics, paying themselves lavish salaries or attacking real education reform like Nevada’s Education Savings Accounts.

And it all started with NPRI four years ago.

Happy National Employee Freedom Week and thank you for helping us empower workers to opt out of union membership.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

Remember, if you'd like to receive the latest from NPRI, sign-up for our emails here.


Clarification on ESAs

What we know now about the new program

Dear Friend,

For the past month, there has been much information released regarding Nevada’s education savings account program. As new updates come out, following changes to previously released information can be confusing. I hope this email will bring some clarity on the current status of the ESA program.


The Treasurer has implemented an early application period, which started August 3rd and will continue through November 30, 2015. The applications are here. Please make sure you sign, date, fill in all boxes and include all paperwork.

There are a few things you should know before sending in your early applications.

First, the 100 consecutive days of public school enrollment criteria must be met before submitting your application. Submitting an application prior to fulfilling 100 days in a public school will not serve as a place holder.

Next, once the Treasurer’s Office stamps your fully completed application “received,” the office will count backwards 100 consecutive school days, including school days in the 2014-15 school year. There will not be a one-time exception allowing attendance at any time during the 2014-15 school year. You must have been enrolled in a public school for the 100 consecutive school days immediately preceding the application.

The Treasurer has advised that if your child attends one day in a private school before this application is received by the office, he or she would no longer have 100 consecutive school days immediately preceding the date of the application. Thus, per SB302, your child would no longer be eligible to use any previous school days from the 2014-2015 school year.

 As of this week, the Treasurer’s Office reports that it is taking two weeks to complete an application intake. Remember, you must be enrolled in your public school seat when the count begins — the application “received” date!

Additionally, the Treasurer asks that you include all paperwork with your application, including income verification when applicable and evidence for any 15 day absence waiver.

The 15 day absence rule resets the 100 day clock if a student has 15 consecutive school days absent during the 100 school days prior to application. If extenuating circumstances exist, like an illness, an accident, a death in family or disability issues, the Treasurer will review on a case-by-case basis. The absences may or may not be waived, depending on individual circumstances. Be sure to submit evidence of extenuating circumstances with the application.

At this time, the treasurer’s office expects funding will be distributed during the first week of April 2016. If funding begins sooner, parents will be notified at the email address they placed on the application. Don’t forget to put a valid email on each application.

Here is the schedule for next year’s open enrollment and corresponding funding dates:

Open Enrollment Periods for 2016               Estimated Account Funding Dates

January 4 – February 29, 2016                       First week of April 2016

April 1 – May 31, 2016                                    First week of July 2016

July 1 – August 31, 2016                                First week of October 2016

October 1 – November 30, 2016                    First week of January 2017

Kindergarten and students under age 7 years

As of yet, there has been no official direction on eligibility for Kindergarteners or children under age 7. This is a question to be clarified through the regulatory process.

Some camps interpret SB302, the bill creating ESAs, to mean kindergartners are automatically eligible and do not need to meet the 100 day rule. Others interpret the bill to say no children under age 7 are eligible for ESAs. Still others interpret SB302 as saying kindergartners and other children under age 7 are eligible but must meet the 100 day enrollment criteria first.

Without clear direction, the Treasurer’s office has recommended parents submit an early application in any case. The applications will be placed into a pending status until the regulatory process has concluded. At which time, the applications will proceed according to final regulation. The safest thing to do is to make sure your child has 100 consecutive days in public schools, including charter and virtual public schools.

Online charter schools

Last week, the Treasurer’s Office released a notice from the Nevada Department of Education advising, “a private school or home school student may not participate in a program of distance education or online class to satisfy the 100 school day requirement.” Previously, the Treasurer stated that partial enrollment, one class or more, in an online school could be used to meet the 100 day rule. This inconsistency has many parents seeking clarification.

Current Nevada law doesn’t allow a private school or home schooled student to enroll part-time in an online school, so that will not an option to meet the 100 school-day enrollment requirement. However, partial enrollment, meaning taking one class or more, in a traditional or brick-and-mortar district or charter school will count towards the 100 day enrollment requirement.

Full-time enrollment in an online district or charter school will also satisfy the 100 day enrollment requirement.

It is important to note that eligibility through partial enrollment will result in a pro-rated funding allotment. For how long and at what rate is yet to be determined.

Regulatory Process

As evidenced by the Department of Education notice, it is important for families to understand Nevada’s ESA program is in a state of flux as it advances through the regulatory process. While the Treasurer is committed to proposing regulations, proposed regulations are online here, which are expansive and reflect legislative intent, things are subject to change until regulations have been adopted in final form by the Legislative Commission.

This is why it is important to have your voice heard at the upcoming August 21 Regulations Workshop at 9 a.m.:

Legislative Building               Grant Sawyer State Office Building

Suite 4100                               Suite 4401

401 S. Carson Street               555 E. Washington Avenue

Carson City, NV                     Las Vegas, NV

I hope this email helps bring some clarity and please let me know if you have any additional questions.


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