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

Karen Gray

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!