ESA Update

Karen Gray

Hello everyone!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Independence Day! It is truly an inspirational holiday.

Last weekend, I stood watching the Fourth of July parade in Duck Creek Village, Utah, as people of all ages rolled by on four wheelers, side-by-sides and trucks decorated with American flags, patriotic designs and red, white and blue streamers. People were tossing candy, cheering for America, and laughing with both neighbors and complete strangers.

Suddenly, I had a distinct awareness of our founding fathers — what they sacrificed so long ago and what they endured standing up for independence and freedom.

It was a profound feeling.

Instinctively I knew, just like our Forefathers knew when it was time to take a stand, that it’s time for us to stand up for Nevada’s Education Savings Account program. We, too, will endure!

The opposition doesn’t support freedom for parents to choose what education is best for their children. Instead, they want to dictate to families what education is best for children. The opposition is doing everything within its power to attack this program because it empowers you — parents, families and children — to be independent and free.

So far, we’ve stayed strong. And, folks, the time is finally here! You’ve all been asking, “What can I do to help?” Let me give you a few ideas:

As you know, on Friday, July 29th, the Nevada Supreme Court will hold oral arguments in the Lopez and Duncan cases. and other ESA supporters will rally in support of the program at 8:30 a.m. outside the Nevada Supreme Court, at the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave in Las Vegas. I’ll be there at 8:00 a.m.

Currently, I am working with Court and county staff on the finer details of public gatherings and court decorum. In fact, today, the court notified me they will open an overflow room to observe the proceedings!! This is great news, because having been in the Supreme Court venue, I know it will only hold about 50 people. The Court is also going to offer viewing of the proceedings in Carson City! So, a big “thank you” to Court staff for working out the overflow space!! I will send out all the finer details next week. There are quite a few rules to be observed.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to me with your name and contact info, so I can coordinate with others. You can email me at or call the office at 702-222-0642.

And for those of you unable to come out on July 29th, the Nevada Supreme Court streams most of its oral arguments online. Be sure to watch!! Today, the Court confirmed the Lopez and Duncan cases will for sure be streamed online! (Barring any technical issues.)

If you are in northern Nevada or other parts of the state and want to rally, let me know and I will work with you on that as well.

Of course, not everyone can show up for a rally. For those folks, NPRI is hosting two policy luncheons on ESAs that week —one in the south and one in the north — featuring Vicki Alger from the Independent Institute. Vicki has advised education policymakers in nearly 40 states, provided expert testimony before state legislative education committees, and served on two national accountability task forces. Her research was crucial in advancing school choice in Arizona — and she’ll be speaking about the importance ESAs will play in Nevada’s future.

The first luncheon will be held at the Eldorado Hotel, in Reno, on July 28th at 11:30 a.m. For folks in Las Vegas, the second luncheon will be held the day of the oral arguments, July 29th, at the Las Vegas Country Club at 11:30 a.m.

Both events will be a great place to learn more about ESAs, and the world of difference educational choice can bring to Nevada.

Finally, let’s not forget your ESA stories. We’ve already collected quite a few — and we’re going to be highlighting them on, on Facebook and Twitter and in the media as we race toward oral arguments. If you haven’t already, or if you’re just new to the list, please shoot me an email with your story of why ESAs are important to your family, how it will make a difference in your child’s education, what struggles you currently face or anything else that underscores how important ESAs are to Nevada’s future. We will publish your stories, letting everyone know, ESAs are not about politics or special interests — they’re about parents, children and individual lives.

For now, those are some things in the works for the ESA oral arguments, and how you can help. I will have more information in the coming days.



Where you can watch the Supreme Court Oral Arguments: 

ESA Luncheon info: