What to know about Nevada’s ESA applications

Karen Gray

Parents who wish to enroll their children in Nevada’s new Education Savings Accounts program are now able to do so after the Treasurer released the official application form on Friday.

There are a couple of important things to note. First, even though the application is available now, the funding for the ESAs will not be available until 2016. Currently, the accounts will not be funded until April 2016.

Second, the eligibility requirements have not changed. Students must have been enrolled in Nevada public schools, which includes charter schools, for 100 consecutive days before they are eligible.

The application gives parents a couple of options. If a parent wants to get a jumpstart on the application process while the child remains in public school, the application may be submitted now and the child kept in public school. The child may stay in public school until the ESA is funded, currently scheduled for April 2016.

This early application is especially important for families looking to move their students into private school or home-based education before the next school year. If a family submits an application and it is marked received by the Treasurer’s Office, before the student starts private school, then a student can start private school in fall of 2015 and still receive the ESA funds in 2016.

The family will have to pay the full cost for the private school before the ESAs are funded in April 2016.

Some people have expressed concerns about starting applications before January 1, 2016. The Treasurer’s Office is confident that applications are allowed after July 1, 2015, but parents are encouraged to look at the law and make a decision they are confident in.

Anyone with questions on the early applications may also contact Karen Gray at the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

Karen Gray is Citizens Engagement Coordinator at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonparitsan, free market think tank.