This week, a bill was proposed to preserve scholarships for low-income students, by continuing a $20 million increase made to the Opportunity Scholarship program during the last legislative session.
Senator Heidi Gansert’s bill to continue the higher level of funding offers hope to the low-income students who would see their scholarships taken away should funding not continue.
“This program is about making sure low income, at risk, students have access to the classrooms that give them the best opportunity to succeed in life,” said Nevada Policy Communications Director Michael Schaus. “We are thrilled that Senator Gansert has taken the lead in making sure these children continue to have access to quality educational options.”
The bill also expands the program, by waiving the income restriction for special needs students, giving even more students access to the kind of educational options that can make a fundamental difference in their lives.
“This bill focuses on giving opportunities and options to the very students who are most in need,” said Schaus.
Introduction of the bill, however, is just the first step in a long process. Schaus says it’s unclear if Democrat majorities will entertain Gansert’s proposal without significant pressure from parents, citizens and voters.
“If Gansert’s bill isn’t passed, and signed into law, nearly 1,000 kids will have a life changing opportunity taken away from them, and they’ll be forced back into the very schools where they struggled to succeed in the first place,” says Schaus.
“Parents need to let their lawmakers know that this program deserves their support. It’s up to citizens, parents and voters to make sure lawmakers understand their vote will directly decide the educational future of countless low-income and special needs students,” said Schaus.
Media inquiries should be directed to Michael Schaus, Nevada Policy’s Communications Director.
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Read more about how Opportunity Scholarships benefit students and taxpayers alike, while also reducing overcrowding and increasing available per-pupil funding for public schools: Nevada’s Opportunity Scholarships: A Win for Students and Taxpayers