For Immediate Release: June 1, 2017
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada legislators proved they are champions for children by approving an education budget that excluded the controversial SB506 Voucher Bill that would have allowed scarce public funds to be diverted to private schools.
“After tough negotiations, Senate leader Aaron Ford stood strong for Nevada’s children and our K-12 education system by not wavering for a bill that hurts our most vulnerable children by diverting funds from their public schools,” said Educate Nevada Now Policy Director, Sylvia Lazos. “We appreciate the commitment and resilience the Senate showed today and are ever more hopeful about the future of Nevada’s students.”
Educate Nevada Now, powered by The Rogers Foundation, has been at the forefront of the voucher fight, representing the parents who brought forward the lawsuit Lopez vs. Schwartz, which resulted in the Nevada Supreme Court declaring the 2015 universal voucher bill as unconstitutional.
While an amended version of the 2015 bill was introduced during this session the voucher bill continues to discriminate against LGTBQ and special education students, students of different faiths and continues to be inaccessible for low-income and rural families.
“The voucher program undermines public education, which serves to educate all students regardless of race, income, religion, or abilities,” said Lazos. “It’s a shame that our most vulnerable students are caught up in partisan politics and that several quality bills are being held hostage for vouchers that have shown no academic achievement and are ridden with fraud in other states where implemented.
Currently Nevada ranks among the states with the lowest K-12 funding, until that changes, the state does not have the luxury of providing funds to private schools. Any and all additional dollars should be contributed towards our public schools to improve their quality and strengthen existing options such as magnet schools, select schools, online schools, charters and open enrollment, which accept all students at no cost.
This issue is of utmost critical importance to ENN whose mission lies in improving educational opportunities and outcomes for Nevada public school children.
ENN would like to thank the legislators who are working hard on behalf of Nevada’s students. The ENN team will continue to work alongside lawmakers and other organizations such as the Public Money Public Schools coalition members (Nevada State Education Association, The ACLU of Nevada and Battle Born Progress) to ensure we continue to provide equitable funding and opportunities for all our students. ENN will continue to work on behalf of families and children to fight for fair and equitable funding in Nevada.
About Educate Nevada Now
The Rogers Foundation, a Nevada leader in support of public education, joined with local, state and national partners to launch Educate Nevada Now (ENN) in 2015. The organization is committed to school finance reform and improved educational opportunities and outcomes for all Nevada public school children, especially English language learners, gifted and talented students, students with disabilities or other special needs, and low-income students.
More information about ENN can be found at www.educatenevadanow.com