The little-known story of Thanksgiving

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.

Around the Thanksgiving holiday, we hear a lot about Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. For some reason, however, we rarely hear about the real reason we give thanks every fourth Thursday in November.

The “official” story of Thanksgiving is a Disney-style fairytale about a group of tenacious pilgrims surviving the hardship of winter and befriending the local Native Americans. But that’s not exactly the whole story. What we’re rarely told is the story of entrepreneurship, individual freedom and limited government that ultimately saved the Plymouth plantation from slipping away into obscurity.

From the beginning, the colony was plagued with poor harvests, harsh winters, starvation and disease. Increasingly, colonists grew convinced that Plymouth was just a month or two away from being wiped out by Mother Nature. But as the years wore on, Governor William Bradford began to think maybe there was a more obvious culprit for all their suffering.

Like Jamestown before it, Plymouth had initially adopted an economic system of “shared ownership” among all its residents. Profits and harvests were placed in a central fund, of which it was proclaimed, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.”

In other words, people to put into the common stock all they could afford, and take only what they needed.  Bradford and his colonists had embarked on a truly socialist experiment roughly two centuries before Karl Marx would start ranting about the bourgeois and proletariat.

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford later wrote that the system of shared resources was “riddled with corruption,” and that “confusion and discontent” was rampant. Young men resented having to care for other people’s families, and often refused to work. Other families resorted to stealing from their neighbors, claiming such criminal acts were justified because of the society’s communal nature. The crops that were planted were neglected, food supplies spoiled and resources were wasted as the colonists refused to take ownership of their “common” responsibilities.

The first Thanksgiving, held in 1621, was less of a celebration, and more of a final meal ahead of the inevitable decline into winter. It was viewed by many, including Bradford, as a solemn occasion marking what they thought were the final days of a dying community.

As a group the Pilgrims endured the winter, but after continued famine and another disappointing harvest in 1622, Bradford reexamined his vision for the struggling community. The families in the colony “began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop,” wrote Bradford.

The solution has proven to be a testament to the power of individual liberty.

Each family received a parcel of land, and was told that the crop they harvested on their own land was theirs do with as they saw fit. For the first time since founding Plymouth Colony, individuals would be entirely responsible for their own success or failure.

The colonists quickly learned that allowing individuals to pursue their own self-interest actually helps create prosperity for all. Colonists who couldn’t produce a suitable harvest began exchanging their skills for corn from their neighbors — many of whom had more than enough corn to share with those in need. Commerce erupted in Plymouth, and within just a year the region was producing such a crop surplus that the colony was able to begin exporting its goods.

William Bradford did more than simply lead the colonists at Plymouth into better times — he unleashed the spirit of entrepreneurship and free markets upon the New World.

“Instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.”

The prosperity for which we are thankful today would be impossible without the individual freedoms adopted in 1623 on the rugged shores of Massachusetts.

That “freedom to fail” that saved the colony was Bradford’s gift to the generations that followed — and for that reason we continue to give thanks every year for the family, freedoms and prosperity we enjoy today.

To you and yours, I wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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It’s all about Education — Not Politics

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.

Thursday’s NPRI Open House in Reno was a tremendous success. The level of support for the work we’re doing at NPRI was very encouraging — almost overwhelming, in fact. My deepest thanks to everyone who was able to attend.

Conversations with the many supporters who made it to our new Reno office made clear that our 2015 Legislative Session Review and Report Card has been very well received. Attendees told me they found NPRI’s research invaluable for getting past the political rhetoric and learning what really went on at the 2015 legislative session.

Another topic folks regularly brought up was the tremendous success school-choice advocates had in the last legislative session, with the passing of Education Savings Accounts.

ESAs — now being recognized nationally as a major step in American education reform — are also earning praise from parents from all over the political spectrum. At the family level at least, support for the nation’s largest school-choice program is truly bipartisan.

As it should be.

After all, education isn’t about politics. It’s about giving children the tools necessary to succeed in life —empowering them with the knowledge and the skills to fulfill their potential.

And that’s why we are so passionate about the opportunities ESAs provide for Nevada families. School choice, basically, is all about empowering children, teachers, and parents — freeing them all from what, over the years, had unfortunately turned into a smothering, over-reaching, one-size-fits-all government monopoly.

ESAs, on the other hand, allow parents to find the options best suited to each individual child — and agreeable to their family values. School choice also incentivizes educators and schools, including public schools, to innovate and improve their methods.

So, we are really looking forward to the state’s ESA implementation next year.

Of course, much work still needs to be done. Families need to understand their options, and NPRI — dedicated to making sure they do — will be working overtime to help them through the process.

It will be hard work in the year ahead, but we look forward to standing with parents, teachers, and policy makers of all political persuasions to ensure that every Nevada student has access to this tremendous opportunity.   

After all, school choice does something amazing: It returns education to the students and parents.

And that’s good for all of Nevada’s youth.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

It's hard to believe, but we are getting down to the final days of early enrollment in Nevada's Education Savings Accounts program — November 30 will be the last day for early applications!

The State Treasurer's office has done a phenomenal job getting this program off the ground. I have no doubt this program will be up and running when funds roll out — two months earlier than anticipated — in FEBRUARY!

Treasurer Dan Schwartz and his staff have managed to hold three public hearings on the regulations, and a fourth is scheduled for November 23 at 10 am. They’ve already:

  • set up an application process,
  • processed over 3000 applications,
  • contracted with a financial institute to manage the accounts,
  • created a vendor registration form, which is set to go live soon,
  • answered numerous questions from parents and people like me,
  • …all the while traveling across the state doing community outreach and facing two special-interest backed lawsuits to block Nevada families from this program.

I would tell everyone to send the Treasurer and staff an email expressing your appreciation, but I'm not so sure flooding their inbox is the best way to do that. Perhaps everyone can show up the November 23rd regulatory meeting and take a moment to extend a thank-you during public comment.

Please note the new meeting locations. In Carson, the meeting will be held at the Gaming Control Board, not the Legislative Building. In Las Vegas, the meeting will still take place at the Grant Sawyer building, but in suite 2600:

Carson City, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

Gaming Control Board

Grant Sawyer State Office Building

Suite 100

Suite 2600

1919 College Pkwy

555 E. Washington Avenue


Another opportunity for those in southern Nevada will come next Tuesday, November 17 from 6-8 pm. That’s when the Nevada Innovative Coalition for Education will host a panel discussion on Nevada Education Savings Accounts. Invited panelists are Senators Scott Hammond and Becky Harris, Treasurer Dan Schwartz and Chief of Staff Grant Hewitt, and yours truly, Karen Gray. Organizers of the event have asked me to invite everyone on this e-list.

They want to hear from parents. So, if you still have some questions or just want to show your appreciation, this may be a good place to do so. This may also be a good opportunity to ask lawmakers: “Why the 100 day rule?” Here is an event flyer to assist your efforts.

The NICE event on the 17th will be held at the National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119. If you attend, please be sure to introduce yourself!

One final announcement: on Wednesday, November 18, TCMI Church will host an ESA application night for anyone needing help completing and submitting an ESA application. I will be there to assist and answer any questions:

TCMI Pre-registration event:

5101 N. Rainbow Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89131


TCMI is located on Rainbow Blvd right off Rancho. Bring with you the necessary documents: a copy of the parent's valid government issued ID, a certified or verified copy of the student's birth certificate and proof of guardianship if you're not the biological parent. You will also need proof of residency, such as a copy of the most current utility bill, copy of a current property tax bill or a rental lease agreement. Other documents you may need are a copy of last year’s tax return (first 2 pages) or a current paystub if your annual household income is within 185% of the federally designated poverty level. If you are seeking the extra 10% funding for special-education students, you should bring your IEP for upload. We will have scanners at the site. Do not forget, you must know your child's student ID number. That is how enrollment will be verified.

If you or your business, church, school or civic group would like to host a registration night, please let me know and we will get that on the calendar. Remember, I welcome any opportunity to spread the word on ESAs and register families. I couldn't do this without the community's support and involvement!

Have a great weekend!



Exciting Times for Liberty, Nevada and NPRI

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.

The end of the year is quickly approaching, and it’s a time of change – both in the state of Nevada, and at NPRI specifically. In the last year the liberty movement has seen its share of disappointments, but we’ve also seen some tremendous gains.

NPRI’s Karen Grey will be discussing the biggest of these gains when she joins a panel of education reform advocates for the Nevada Innovative Education Coalition on November 17, in Las Vegas. Hosted at the National Atomic Testing Museum from 6pm to 8pm, the panel will be discussing the vast opportunities Nevada’s Education Savings Accounts will bring to students in the Silver State.

I hope you’ll be able to join her.

Implementing the country’s most comprehensive school choice program does bring challenges, but the strong level of support we’ve seen from taxpayers, parents and elected officials like Treasurer Dan Schwartz has been terrific.

We’ve had our share of news internally at NPRI as well. We were sorry to say farewell to Development Officer Kyle Hanlin when he accepted an opportunity with Young Americans for Liberty. Chantel Lovell, our former communications director, also moved on from NPRI, taking up a position with the Mackinac Center in Michigan. Of course, all of us at NPRI are excited to see how Chantel and Kyle continue to advance freedom in their new endeavors, and we wish them the best. Their skills and their talents will be missed, but we’re also very pleased to welcome two new members to the team.

Megan Heryet joined NPRI in October as our new development officer. As a third generation Nevadan with a strong sense of independence, Megan’s ambition promises to be a great asset for NPRI’s mission. Michael Schaus came aboard in November as our new communications director. A former national columnist and talk radio host, Michael’s unique ability to advocate for free market reforms will be essential. I look forward to working with Michael and Megan as we head into 2016 and I know you’ll enjoy hearing from them as well.

The legislative session of 2015 proved to be a mixed year for free market principles. Our excitement over passing the country’s most universal school choice program was somewhat subdued by Nevada lawmakers agreeing to the largest tax hike in the state’s history. Our 2015 Legislative Session Review and Report Card has plenty of information on all of the good, the bad and the ugly from the last legislative session, and is now available for your review.

I’m looking forward to discussing all this, and more, with you at our upcoming open houses. Our open house in Reno on November 19 will be a lot of fun, with KKOH host Dan Mason broadcasting his show from the event. We have a new office in Reno, so please be sure to check the address here. And if you’d like to visit our open house in Las Vegas, mark down December 16 on your calendar. With the mixed results from the last legislative session, there will be plenty to talk about as we wrap up the year.

As I said, it is an exciting time for the liberty movement, for Nevada, and for NPRI. I’m looking forward to what comes next and am grateful for your support which makes it possible.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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


Happy Veterans Day, friends!

Happy Veterans Day, friends!

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally established as a U.S. legal holiday in 1938 to mark the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. According to the website, the 83rd U.S. Congress in 1954 — at the urging of veterans service organizations following World War II and the Korean War — amended the Act of 1938 to strike out the word "Armistice" and insert the word "Veterans."

Thus, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later, on Aug. 4, 2001, Congress designated the week of Nov. 11 through Nov. 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week," and called for elementary and secondary school students to be educated regarding the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.

Today, Americans observe Veterans Day not only to preserve the historical significance of the date, but to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

One sacrifice that military personnel make is embracing a lifestyle that means often uprooting family life and moving. That can be required, as one Nevada family recently testified, as frequently as 10 times in 14 years.

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz — recognizing this unique barrier that active-duty families face to meet the 100-days-of-public-school requirement for Nevada's Education Savings Account program — recently announced his intent to establish a military exemption to the 100-day rule. This exemption, along with a Kindergartener (under age 7) exemption to the 100-day rule, must now make their way through the regulatory process.

Schwartz is expected to adopt these two exemptions at a November 23 hearing, after which the regulations are to go to the Legislative Commission for its approval, presumably in December. However, it’s important that parents understand these exemptions are not yet in effect, nor are they shoo-ins. The Legislative Commission is free reject the regulations.

NPRI has been contacted by several military and kindergarten families with questions about the regulatory process. Committed to public participation in the government process, we are happy to walk families through the process. If you are a military or kindergarten family, please let me know. Email me at or call the office at 702-222-0642. I will walk you through the regulatory process as it advances, and, if you choose, put you in contact with others for support. It is imperative to have your voice heard, whether in person, through written submissions or phone calls.

And, as you are out and about today, be sure to show your appreciation to those who have and who currently sacrifice for our freedom!

With much appreciation and thanks to all veterans, their families and loved ones.



So who are the families applying for Education Savings Accounts?

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.

So who are the families applying for Education Savings Accounts, Nevada’s best-in-the-country school choice program?

Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz last week gave us all some of the latest data.

Of the over 3,000 applicants, over half of the students came from families earning less than $65,000 a year. Over 20 percent of the families qualified for free and reduced lunch.

This is before any money has been dispersed, before regulations have been finalized and even before any final determination has been made whether kindergarteners are eligible.

That’s an unqualified success. Arizona’s more-limited ESA program, which is the country’s oldest ESA program, has just 1,311 students in total.

Clearly, parents are responding in record-setting numbers — demonstrating a significant pent-up demand for educational freedom.

Naturally, the usual crowd that hates the idea of parents and students having choices is out to put a negative spin on what is great news. They argue that too few of the “right” children are using this program, because more of the applicants came from zip codes with higher average household incomes than from zip codes considered low-income.

First, if any parents now have an opportunity to improve the education of their children, that is a great thing. I firmly belief that all children matter and personally rejoice that any parents now have a better pathway for their children than before.

Second, over the last several years, school district officials in Clark and Washoe County have been bemoaning that classrooms are overcrowded, especially in growing suburbs. Just months ago — using such overcrowding as an excuse — state lawmakers unconstitutionally passed a $4+ billion property tax increase without voter approval. But now that ESAs are about to relieve school-district overcrowding, dropping attendance by close to one percent, that’s suddenly a bad thing?

Apparently school overcrowding is a bad thing until it’s not.

The clique that incessantly — and baselessly — demands more spending on failing public schools should actually be thrilled by these numbers. That’s because every child using ESAs actually increases per-pupil spending for the students remaining in public schools!

Third, talk about moving the goalposts. Before any money has been distributed, over 600 families that qualify for free and reduced lunch have taken advantage of this program. That’s huge. A new ESA program in Mississippi has a cap of just 500 students. Total. We have more students than that using our ESA program who qualify for free and reduced lunch.  

Fourth and most fundamentally, the faction that is trying to spin these numbers as some sort of negative is the element that has long worked to prevent families in poorer neighborhoods from having more options. 

It makes complete sense that — before ESAs — private schools tend to be sited in parts of town where the median income is higher. Private schools have to pay the bills and, by definition, poorer zip codes are going to have fewer families able to afford private schools.

It’s basic supply and demand. ESAs, however, change that paradigm. Now every single public-school student has $5,000 in his or her backpack.

It doesn’t matter if you live in the poorest or the richest part of town: Now every family can customize each child’s education.

The reality, moreover, is that private schools are very interested in coming to Nevada. Current private schools also have new hope when it comes to expansion.

But there’s a problem. The ACLU and the Rogers Foundation have challenged the constitutionality of ESAs. And while brilliant attorneys with the Attorney General’s Office, Institute for Justice, Goldwater Institute and NPRI think those challenges are baseless, they are delaying investment by private schools otherwise interested in coming to or expanding in Nevada.

After all, why invest tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in a new private school in a low-income neighborhood, if a bad Supreme Court decision could render your investment worthless? The mass influx of new schools Nevada kids need awaits a good high court ruling.

When every student in a disadvantaged neighborhood is getting $5,000 in his or her backpack, parents, churches and other private organizations will be starting schools in those neighborhoods. It simply awaits resolution of the constitutional challenge.

Because we at NPRI know that Nevada kids can’t wait on the Nevada Supreme Court, the Institute is working hard to let all Nevada parents know about ESAs. Even if brick-and-mortar schools aren’t yet sufficiently available, online classes, tutors and homeschooling option are.

To learn more, check out our website, You can inquire about our grassroots organizing efforts.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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


ESA update: ACLU lawsuit and hearing

Good morning All,

Several of you have contacted me asking for an update on the ACLU lawsuit to stop Nevada's ESA program. I got the lowdown before the holiday break…

Recently, Nevada's attorney general's office filed a motion to dismiss the ACLU's lawsuit. You may recall, the ACLU lawsuit seeks to stop the ESA program, claiming the program violates the state's constitution because parents may choose to educate their children at religious schools. Last week, the parents who intervened (in support of ESAs), represented by the Institute for Justice, filed a written joinder in the state's motion. Also, amicus briefs were submitted by Friedman, Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty all in support of the state's motion to dismiss. 

There is currently a hearing set on the motion to dismiss for Nov. 25. The ACLU now has to respond to all of those filings.  They may request an extension of time to do so. So I will keep this on my radar to see if there will actually be a hearing on Nov. 25 or not. I'll let you know the latest.

In the second lawsuit, supported by the Rogers Foundation, a motion for a preliminary injunction was filed. In layman terms, that's the motion to stop the program from starting until the case has been decided. The Responses to that motion are due on Nov. 9. There is no hearing set on the motion for preliminary injunction.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has partnered with former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement and his law firm, Bancroft, to fight these battles.



ESA update: Funding starts in February, Kindergarteners don’t need 100 days

Happy Monday, friends!

As you know, the Nevada State Treasurer held another ESA hearing last week. And, boy, was it a meeting! “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” was the theme of the day.

Since July, the Treasurer has been encouraging and welcoming input from the public. And if you attended the first two hearings, you know there’s been no lack of public input. In direct response to your testimony, emails and phone calls, Treasurer Dan Schwartz started Tuesday’s meeting with several critical announcements.

First, Schwartz announced ESA funding is expected to begin in February, not April as previously anticipated.  That’s two months earlier than initially expected! Nevada families now have better opportunity of transferring to their new educational option at semester, a natural transition period.

Additionally, the Treasurer announced that families who’ve applied early to Nevada’s ESA will have the opportunity in the coming months to select the funding date most appropriate for them. Families can choose to begin funding in either February, May or August, meaning eligible participants can submit their early application by November 30th and later choose to begin funding in August, allowing students to finish out the school year in their current placement. 

Here’s the new funding schedule:

  • First week of February 2016
  • First week of May 2016
  • First week of August 2016
  • First week of November 2016

The Treasurer also accepted two amendments to the proposed regulations. The first amendment is that children entering the Nevada school system for the first time and going into kindergarten — and the child must be under age 7 — will not be required to satisfy the 100 consecutive school days requirement prior to applying for the ESA program. The second amendment concerns children of parents who are active duty members of the military and are based in Nevada. They will also be able to apply without meeting the required 100 consecutive school days in public schools. A revised application is forthcoming.

Because these two amendments make substantive changes to the final proposed regulations, the law requires another adoption hearing to be held. That new meeting agenda was posted last Friday and will take place on Monday, November 23, 2015, at 10:00 A.M., so mark your calendars. The regulations will then go to the Legislative Commission for final approval. I will have more information on that process as the regulations advance.

Due to the new funding dates, revised application periods for 2016 are expected. I will keep you posted.

Finally, it was revealed that vendor registration forms are close — a few weeks away, if all goes as planned. 

As always, feel free to email or call me at 702-222-0642 with any questions or need for clarification.

Have a great week!



Three examples of the failure of government

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.

Don’t the promises of liberals sound grand?

Like free healthcare. Higher wages. Free college education.

Of course, these are a bit like the promises either of my two children would have made if they had been running for President of the Rossie household when they were five or six years old.

Vote for me, and we’ll eat out five times a week. We’ll go to the movies every night, someone else will clean your room and I’ll put a unicorn in the backyard.

Those kind of pie-in-the-sky promises are cute when you’re six. When you’re seventy and don’t have a plan to pay for the fast food and cinema — or “free” health care or college you’re promising — it’s a bit disturbing.

There are two main problems with liberalism, socialism, communism or whatever the frontrunners of the Democratic Party are calling redistributionism these days.

First, it’s unjust. Redistribution involves giving someone something they didn’t earn by taking something from someone who did earn it.

The great classical-liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat labeled that “legalized plunder” in his book The Law.

Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim — when he defends himself — as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder ...

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals.

While I urge you to always remember the unjustness of using governmental force to “spread the wealth,” there’s a second problem with liberal pipe dreams.

They don’t work.

The news this week contained three examples from President Obama’s grand promises of eight years ago. First, the Heritage Foundation uncovered that over 97 percent of those who gained coverage under Obamacare last year did so because of Medicaid expansion. Since government subsidized co-ops, including the one here in Nevada, keep going belly-up, Obamacare has clearly failed.

That brings us to the second example, with New York Post reporting this week that “Obamacare is heading toward a death spiral.”

If you get insurance at work, you’re paying an extra tax to fund “reinsurance” for ObamaCare plans. It’s a fund to defray the cost of their most expensive enrollees.

So far, insurers have collected about $7.9 billion. Recent congressional testimony shows the payments kept ObamaCare sticker prices about 11 percent lower than they otherwise would have been. In short, you pay a tax to make ObamaCare look more affordable than it is.

But even with these hidden subsidies, ObamaCare isn’t working because the design is fatally flawed. The 5 percent of the population with serious medical conditions consume nearly 50 percent of the health care. When you try to sell insurance to sick and healthy people for the same price, the healthy don’t sign up. It’s too expensive.

Third, Obama’s mandate that doctors use electronic medical records — which greatly benefited the company of a top Obama donor — has produced an expensive boondoggle that looks to be hurting patients.

Michelle Malkin cites Robert Wachter, author of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age to describe the destruction: "Physicians retiring early. Small practices bankrupted by up-front expenses or locked into ineffective systems by the prohibitive cost of switching. Hours consumed by onerous data entry unrelated to patient care. Workflow disruptions. And above all, massive intrusions on our patient relationships."

So the next time Bernie or Hillary promise me the government can provide me free healthcare or college tuition, I’m going to pass. There’s a better chance my son or daughter found that unicorn for the backyard.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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


Upcoming hearing for final ESA regulations

Hello Friends,

Just a quick reminder: Next week Nevada treasurer Dan Schwartz will hold his office’s next hearing on proposed regulations for the Education Savings Account (ESA) program.

The hearing will take place Tuesday, October 20 at 10 a.m. in room 4100 at the Legislative Building, located at 401 Carson Street in Carson City. The meeting will also be video-conferenced to room 4401 in the Grant Sawyer building at 555 Washington Ave, Las Vegas.

It is important to voice your concerns and support for the proposed regulations during public comment or through written comments to the Treasurer. This is the last scheduled opportunity for the office to consider your input and modify the proposed regulations. The Treasurer asks that any glaring concerns be submitted to his office as soon as possible so any issues can be researched before next week’s meeting.

There’s no doubt that the Treasurer is well aware of parents’ opposition to the 100 school-day enrollment requirement — previous hearings have made that clear. And there’s no doubt Treasurer Schwartz supports waiving the requirement. Unfortunately, the reality of this issue is that waiving this requirement is not within the Treasurer’s scope of authority. It will take an act of the legislature to remove the 100 school-day enrollment mandate. When it comes time for that, I will be sure to let you know.

Currently, the Treasurer’s office is reviewing avenues to exempt active military from the enrollment mandate. An answer is anticipated by the October 20th hearing. I know Treasurer Schwartz and his staff all favor a military exemption and are working proactively for military families. However, ultimately the determining factors lie within the Treasurer’s particular scope of authority and the legislative record.

The other hot topic of the day, eligibility of Kindergarteners and other children under age 7, is still being worked on. I’m assured there will be clarity on this issue soon.

Tuesday’s hearing is a “hearing to adopt,” after which the regulations will go to the Legislative Commission for final approval. Then, once again, it will be time to pack the house.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received several inquiries asking how a parent will know that an application has actually been received by the Treasurer. If you submitted an application through the new interactive online form, you should receive an email response giving you a case number. This lets you know your application has been received, but it does not guarantee that you have accurately completed the form. Be sure to upload all necessary documents with your application and include your email address.

If you submitted an application through US mail or through the PDF format that the Treasurer’s office initially offered, you are probably still waiting for a notice of receipt. Please, be patient with the process.

The office’s staffers are diligently working to get applications processed and the whole program up and running. Not only do they have to work on the regulations, draft vendor forms, answer phone calls and return emails, but staff also must manually input more than 2,200 applications and back up materials into the database.

Once all the applications are input, the notices will go out to applicants. Again, be sure to include all necessary documents and your email address. Applications in Spanish can be found here.

Speaking of vendor forms, the Treasurer’s office confirmed those forms are in development and will be out soon. So, all you schools and tutors out there, get ready!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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