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Nevada's ESA Law Gives 'A La Carte' Education Option to All Students

Nevada's ESA Law Gives 'A La Carte' Education Option to All Students

Nevada has become the fifth state to pass a law that makes education savings accounts (ESAs) available to all students in order to allow them to have more options for their education.

"Instead of assigning students to the nearest brick-and-mortar public school, regardless of whether it meets their needs or is underperforming, Nevada now enables families to have their child’s share of state education dollars deposited into a parent-controlled savings account," according to the Las Vegas Sun.

With this savings account, the money can be used to pay for things like private school tuition, tutors, online learning classes, textbooks or any other education-related expense for the benefit of the student. These funds roll-over from year to year if unused, as well.

"ESAs build on the exciting proliferation of school choice underway across the country. Today, 57 private school choice options operate in 28 states and Washington, D.C. That’s significant momentum, considering the first large-scale school voucher option began in Milwaukee in 1990 and was effectively the only such program for years," the article said.

The ESA option began in Arizona four years ago and has thus far been met with much positive reception. Parents, in general, are happy with the options that have become available to them, especially for learners with special needs.

"Amanda and Michael Howard ... use the ESA option in Arizona. Their son, Nathan, has a mild form of autism that causes learning delays. The Howards have used their ESA to finance a combination of private schooling, home schooling, private tutoring and speech therapy," according to the article.

According to U.S. News, 71 percent of participating families in Arizona reported satisfaction.

Nevada's new ESA option is unique because while two-dozen states have some kind of ESA law in place, most have numerous restrictions that narrow down the students who can use them. In Nevada, every student in the public school system now has access.

Read the full story here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/19/2015

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