ESA update

Karen Gray

Good afternoon, all —

Let me start by thanking everyone who has emailed and called with their support, prayers and words of encouragement after Monday’s ruling in the Lopez case. I can’t begin to explain how much your emails and calls have helped me through this week. Your positive outlook and continued commitment to the program’s success inspires me.

The entire team at NPRI truly feels your disappointment, desire for a successful ESA program and sense of limbo. For all of us, too, Nevada’s ESA program is about Nevada families and children — our families, our community, our kiddos.

When this decision came down, we immediately hit the meeting room to identify courses of action and ways to empower parents in this process. Please, be sure to have everyone you know sign up on New things will be coming forward soon, I promise.

It’s a hard moment, I know — not what any one of us wanted. And, even I have to dig deep some days. But, for this immediate moment, we must be patient and stay strong while Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Treasurer Dan Schwartz determine the exact steps to take after Monday’s ruling.

While to us the next step may seem simple — appeal the injunction — the reality is that many options and paths need to be considered. There are also risks that must be weighed. Unavoidably, this will take some time. The State is considering all options — both in court and out of court. Remember, ultimately, the goal is the survival and long-term success of the program.

So, hang in there! I’ve been told we may hear something in about a week.

In the meantime, one development is that an emergency appeal has been filed to allow the Institute for Justice to intervene in support of the program and on behalf of Nevada parents who are directly depending on the ESA.

Another is that Judge Wilson has ordered the parties to the lawsuit to arrange with the court's judicial assistant, by this Monday, January 18, a hearing to set the details for a trial.

Many of you have been reaching out to the Treasurer’s office with questions. Unfortunately, staff there lacks answers yet. They’re working closely with the attorney general to determine what they can and cannot do. And rightfully so: Until the injunction order is clarified, Treasurer Schwartz and his staff need to proceed with an abundance of caution.

While office staffers are begging to answer your emails and phone calls, they also don’t want to put any part of the program at risk. So don’t be discouraged or too frustrated when you don’t hear back. It’s a delicate situation. In the meantime, I’m happy to log your questions and your contact info. Shoot me an email anytime.

Right now, there are simply no answers to questions like, “Will my early application still be processed? Will enrollment still take place in February?” But when there are, we will let you know ASAP!

In closing, I just want to thank everyone again for their words of support and encouragement. You have responded to this most unfortunate setback with dignity and grace. It is my pleasure to work for each and every one of you.

As I said, you inspire me!