New form of school choice spreads to Nevada

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from Washington Examiner,

A new form of school choice called education savings accounts is spreading across the nation, and Nevada will soon be the next state to adopt them. Once implemented, the Silver State will be the fifth state to use education savings accounts as a form of school choice.

Education savings accounts let parents take their child’s public school funding and use it for outside purposes, such as private school tuition, online learning, tutoring or community college costs, depending on the law. The Nevada law would allow families to receive a grant equal to 90 percent of the state average spending per pupil to be used toward private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring, school transportation or tuition for college courses, if they are for dual credit. Only students who have gone to public school for at least 100 days are eligible, so current private and homeschool students cannot participate.

Arizona and Florida have similar programs in place, with more than a thousand students participating in each state. But the Florida program is open only to certain disabled students, while the Arizona program allows students with disabilities and students in failing schools to utilize the accounts. In Nevada, more than nine in 10 students will be eligible for the accounts, compared to one in five or less in Arizona and Florida, according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

In 2011, Arizona became the first state to launch an education savings account program. Florida joined in 2014, with Mississippi and Tennessee signing their programs into law earlier this year. Both the Mississippi and Tennessee programs are open only to students with special needs.

Montana was close to adopting an education savings account program for special needs students, but it was vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat.

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