Nevada students attending private schools on Opportunity Scholarships appear to have a one-year reprieve worked out by Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office.
On Friday evening, the governor’s office announced a short-term solution to what it called a crisis after Democrats voted Wednesday after a contentious 12-hour hearing to prevent Lombardo from using excess COVID-19 relief money to fund the scholarships.
The Governor’s Finance Office had submitted the proposal to the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee, a 22-member majority-Democrat committee. Lombardo’s plan was vetoed by the committee.
The new plan is to partner with AAA Scholarship Foundation to provide money for scholarships for one year.
In order to obtain a scholarship for the new school year, eligible parents must apply with AAA Scholarship Foundation directly. The deadline to apply is Sept. 11.
“I’m grateful to AAA Scholarship Foundation for their eagerness to create a short-term solution for this crisis,” the governor’s office said in a news release. “Together, we will be able to ensure that no student currently receiving an Opportunity Scholarship will be removed from their chosen school this school year. However, unless legislative Democrats work with us on a long-term solution, children will be forced out of their schools and back into the very schools that failed to meet their unique educational needs.”
The earlier COVID-19 proposal came as an alternative after the Legislature passed Lombardo’s education bill without the portion to fund and expand Opportunity Scholarships.
At least 350 students are at risk of losing their Opportunity Scholarships and getting kicked out of their schools in the coming weeks, Lombardo’s Chief of Staff Ben Kieckhefer said.
“AAA Scholarship Foundation is pleased to be a part of a solution for ensuring no child loses their scholarship for the upcoming school year,” said Kim Dyson, president and CEO of AAA Scholarship Foundation. “We’re grateful for Governor Lombardo’s vision, leadership, and staunch advocacy for these children, and we look forward to working with legislators from both parties on a long-term solution for the scholarship program.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.