Happy Spring Break, All!

Karen Gray

Last week was an amazing time in Reno and Carson City with Nicolette Johnston from the treasurer’s office, Donna Wix from the department of education and Deputy Solicitor General Joseph Tartakovsky from the attorney general’s office.  We talked to so many smart parents and educators excited about Nevada’s new educational-options laws and what they mean for Nevada’s future. I can’t wait to get back there and also connect with the rest of the State. Thank you to Brookfield School, Bethlehem Lutheran Elementary School and Sierra Lutheran High School. This outreach effort would not have been possible without your generosity and hospitality!

This update is going to be a quick one…


There is just one week left to send in applications for the 2016 Feb/March ESA application period. Please remember, while the Treasurer is accepting applications that arrive, the office is not processing them. Applications are simply being filed in a drawer until the injunction is lifted (I have faith). You will not hear back from the Treasurer’s office on the status of your application. Therefore, it would be best to send your application certified mail and keep your proof of receipt in case there is a question of delivery in the future. Do not send in your supporting documents yet — just the application.

Also, as a reminder, if you filed an application for a child who’s five or six years old during the early application period, your acceptance letters are waiting to be sent out. They are on hold due to the injunction. The Treasurer’s office asks that you not submit another application. Contact me if you’re freaking outJ.


In the Lopez case (that’s the Carson City lawsuit sponsored by Educate Nevada Now), where the state is appealing to the Nevada Supreme Court and seeking to get the injunction lifted, briefing is still in progress.

The Respondents (the Lopez plaintiffs) have until this Friday to file their response to the opening statement that the Appellants (the State of Nevada) filed March 4. Yes, folks — that means six weeks have already gone by since this case was “expedited.” After the Respondents file their brief, the State will have 10 days to reply.

In Duncan — the ACLU lawsuit — all briefings on the motion to dismiss, preliminary Injunction and jurisdiction are now in the hands of Judge Eric Johnson. Hopefully, we will hear back soon.

Tax Scholarships (AB 165)

I know many of you are also interested in Nevada’s tax scholarship program. In fact, several families are combining ESA and the tax scholarship programs. So, I thought I would give a brief update. Admittedly, I’m not as versed in this program as I am in ESA. However, thanks to your inquiries, I am rapidly catching up. For now, here’s the application status on each of the registered Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO):

Education Fund of Northern Nevada is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year. Don’t let the organization’s name dissuade Southern Nevada families from applying. EFNN must provide scholarships to students across Nevada if eligible— not just Northern Nevada families.

Dinosaurs and Roses, another Nevada based SGO, will begin accepting applications for returning families on May 6th. New applicants may apply beginning May 20th. SGO officials ask applicants to note there will be a brand new application for the 2016-17 school year. While the 2015-16 school year application is still online for parents to see what documents are needed to apply, the SGO will not accept the 2015-16 forms. 2015-16 applications will be returned!

AAA Scholarship Foundation, a national SGO, has opened applications as well. For applications for renewing students, click here. The deadline to apply is April 5. For applications for new students, click here. This deadline to apply is April 18.

It is important to note that AAA uses a more restrictive income-eligibility scale than does the State of Nevada. Under Nevada law, families living below 300 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for the tax scholarship program. However, AAA’s sliding scale tops out at 250 percent.

Quick tip: Be sure to apply with ALL the Scholarship Granting Organizations.

As always, if you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to contact me. It is truly my pleasure to help you navigate these programs!

Stay strong! And, #LetOurChildrenSucceed