School’s out for the summer!

Karen Gray

“School’s out for summer!”

Remember singing those lyrics as child?  Better yet, as a parent?

I sure do.

I know it’s that time of year when parents are looking to recharge and switch off the early morning alarms, homework, car-loops, lunch boxes, backpacks and the like. So, before parents completely turn off their get-the-kids-to-school routines, I thought I should give an ESA update.  And, don’t worry, I will still be out there over the summer with Heels in the Field doing outreach and keeping you up-to-date on the country’s #1 educational choice program!

Over the past month, has added well over 300 people to the email list.  So, this summer kick-off is going to cover the gamut.

Most Asked Questions:

  • If I applied during a previous enrollment period, do I need to reapply? No. The Treasurer’s office asks families not to reapply.  The office will pick up where the program left off before the injunction. Letters were in the hopper to parents who submitted applications in 2015.  They will go out once the injunction is lifted (I have faith). Applications received after the injunction (2016) will be processed and notices will go out when the injunction is lifted (still having faith).
  • When I applied during the 2015 enrollment period, my child was under age 7.  Now he is 7 years old.  Do I need to do 100 school days and reapply? No and no. The Treasurer’s office has stated it will pick up where the program left off before the injunction.  Letters of acceptance to the families of 5 and 6 year olds were ready to be sent.  They will be sent once the injunction is lifted (I have faith).
  • Once the injunction is lifted (again, I have faith), will funding be retroactive? No. There will be no “back- pay,” so to say. Funding applies to forward expenses. Any costs incurred between applying and the start of funding is the parent’s responsibility.
  • What can I do to help? Spread the word about ESA and When parents are informed about the various educational choices available to them, they are empowered to become effective advocates for their children. Remember, I am happy to come talk in your homes, churches, sports practices, civic groups, place of work, etc… No group is too small or too large.

100-school-day requirement:

  • Nevada law requires enrollment in a public school for the 100 school days immediately preceding an ESA application for program eligibility.  Do not apply before 100 school days.
  • Holidays, in-service days, and school breaks are not counted towards the 100 days.
  • The 100 school days can cross school years. So, you could earn some days in the 2015-16 school year and the rest in the 2016-17 school year.  However, you must be continuously enrolled.
  • *** The 100-school-day requirement is waived for 5 and 6 year olds *** Your child must be 5 years old by September 30, 2016 to be eligible for the 2016-17 school year.
  • *** The 100-school-day requirement is waived for active duty military families ***

Applications: English and Spanish versions available

  • The Treasurer is now accepting applications through June 30th. Applications must be stamped received in the Treasurer’s office by 5:00 p.m. on June 30th to meet the deadline. 
  • Due to the injunction in the Lopez case, applications will not be processed.  You will not receive notice of receipt from the Treasurer’s office. I recommend mailing your application certified-return-receipt. Keep your receipt as proof of delivery.
  • You may also hand-deliver your application to the Carson City office at 101 N. Carson Street, Suite 4, or the Grant Sawyer office in Las Vegas, located at 555 E. Washington.  Ask for a copy of the stamped application, or take a picture on your phone.  Keep for your records.
  • I will have Heels in the Field on June 14th for an ESA information and application assistance event at TCMI Church located at 5101 N. Rainbow, off Rancho Drive across from the Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino at 6:30 p.m.  Thank you, Karla Raypon-Severson, for all your hard work. [link to flyer]
  • Be sure to check for summer events.  I will be in the field all summer.


  • In the Lopez case, the northern Nevada case with the injunction, the Nevada Supreme Court has set oral arguments for Friday, July 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. for one hour.  Arguments will take place in Las Vegas at the Regional Justice Center, located at 200 Lewis Avenue on the 17th Floor. 
  • On May 18, 2016, Judge Eric Johnson dismissed with prejudice, meaning the case can’t be refiled, the Duncan case in southern Nevada brought by the ACLU.   The ACLU has until July 1st to file a notice of appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.  

As we have learned this past year, when it comes to lawsuits, the cases are always fluid — meaning things change often.  Motions are filed, extensions are granted, hearings are rescheduled, etc.… So, be sure to look for my updates. 


Depending on how quickly the Nevada Supreme Court turns out a decision in Lopez, the Treasurer’s office is gearing up for an August funding.  Now, I’m going to be very honest here, any hope for an August funding is going to require swift action by schools, vendors and parents. 

  • Please, have the necessary documents to complete your application or registrations scanned, uploaded and ready to go on your computer.  So when asked to upload them, it’s a quick click and done. I am happy to help you scan.  I have portable scanners… and I do travel.
  • Be sure to monitor your email daily once the injunction is lifted (I really do have faith).  Check your junk email to make sure you haven’t received an email from the Treasurer’s office.
  • Once the injunction is lifted (have I told you, I’m moving forward with faith that everything is going to turn out just right?), the Treasurer’s office has asked that parents, schools and vendors give the office a few weeks to get the system back online, register participating entities and input the more than 2500 paper applications waiting before making calls.  The office will send emails as they are ready to proceed. 

Stay Strong! And, #LetOurChildrenSucceed