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Nevada Bill Giving Parents Private School Tuition Help Heads to Governor

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Cross-posted from the Charters & Choice blog.

Lawmakers in Nevada have passed a tax-credit scholarship bill that would help provide tuition assistance to low-income families wanting to attend a private school.

Now that the bill has cleared both chambers, it goes to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature. Sandoval proposed the legislation, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 

The program grants tax-credits to businesses for donations they make to support scholarships for students to use toward private school tuition.

Opponents of tax-credit scholarships generally view such programs as a school vouchers in disguise and argue that they channel money away from public schools.

To qualify for Nevada's tax-credit scholarship program, families have to make 300 percent or below the poverty level. According to the Associated Press,  a family of four earning $73,000 a year would qualify for the program.

Wait, There's More...

That's not the only private school choice legislation on tap in this session in Nevada.

Lawmakers are also considering a bill that would create education savings accounts. ESA programs give money based off the state's per-pupil funding to parents of eligible students to spend on approved educational expenses. To qualify, a student generally must have special needs—although Arizona's program has expanded to include other types of students. For example, the state passed a bill earlier this session that would allow children living on Indian reservations to qualify for the program.

ESAs are a fairly new concept in the school choice space. Currently, only Arizona and Florida have ESAs, although Mississippi lawmakers recently passed a bill to create a pilot program in the state.

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