Testimony on SB 165: School choice would benefit Nevada students

Hello, my name is Victor Joecks, and I’m with the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

Twenty-four states around the country and Washington D.C. currently have some program of school choice. This includes 14 states that run 18 opportunity scholarship programs, similar to AB165, which you’re considering here today.

School choice is a great way to increase student achievement. The Friedman Foundation has found that:

Twelve empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the “gold standard” of social science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves student outcomes — six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One study finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found a negative impact.

School choice isn’t just beneficial for students who use the program, but for students who remain in public schools as well.

Again the Friedman Foundation finds:

Twenty-three empirical studies (including all methods) have examined school choice’s impact on academic outcomes in public schools. Of these, 22 find that choice improves public schools and one finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found that choice harms public schools.

School choice works. Opportunity scholarships are benefiting students in 14 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, and Rhode Island. AB 165 would benefit Nevada students as well.