10 Aug Nevada State Senate and Assembly Hold the Line Against Voucher Scheme
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Contact: Amber Falgout, firstname.lastname@example.org, 775.657.0433
Las Vegas, Nev. – Today, the Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, rejected another attempt by Governor Joe Lombardo to give away public tax dollars to support “opportunity scholarships,” otherwise known as the voucher scam — a decades-long effort to funnel taxpayer dollars into private schools.
Shelbie Swartz, Interim Executive Director of Battle Born Progress, released the following statement:
“Governor Lombardo isn’t the education governor — he’s the PRIVATE education governor. Every Nevada student is guaranteed a quality PUBLIC education, but people like Governor Lombardo are standing in the way of that with their continued efforts to defund public schools and divert money to private schools. The Nevada Way should be about ensuring the vast majority of Nevada’s students, who are in public schools, are getting the adequate resources and education they need.
Public education is a cornerstone of our society, providing equal opportunities for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, race, or ability. It is a fundamental principle that every child should have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success in life. We should not be defunding public schools by siphoning money into private or charter schools, which have less accountability and oversight and are propped up by the likes of Betsy DeVos and other wealthy elites. In this very committee meeting today, we heard that AAA Scholarships contributed to manufacturing this ‘crisis’ by hoarding resources to drive up demand for these funds, resulting in this sham of a hearing. This is proof perfect that these organizations and schools do not have enough oversight or accountability.
Further, private schools can refuse service to anyone. That means they can refuse to take students experiencing disabilities and students who are a particular race, ethnicity, or gender identity. This is unacceptable and the attempt to funnel more money to these schools is simply an effort the governor is making to fill campaign promises to wealthy donors. We must refocus our priorities in this state so we can ensure everyone has access to quality education and the services they need to succeed.
This session, the governor had the opportunity to sign valuable pieces of legislation into law, including multiple bills that would curb the ever-worsening housing crisis in our state, but our governor is now focused on providing more money for so-called ‘opportunity scholarships.’ Meanwhile, evictions have risen substantially in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas. Residents are being evicted at an alarming rate amid multiple heatwaves that have wreaked havoc across our state. This is simply inhumane. The governor could have helped solve this issue by signing legislation protecting tenants, but he was more focused on protecting businesses. Our priorities should be to address the housing crisis, not funnel more federal funds into private schools that serve the select few.”
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