(NPRI) – LAS VEGAS — Families who wish to use Nevada’s new Education Savings Accounts program may now file applications, the Nevada Treasurer’s office announced Thursday.
Parents may apply online for their child’s ESA — worth $5,100 to $5,700 — through the State Treasurer’s website. The Nevada Policy Research Institute offered free, in-person application assistance from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 31st at its open house in Las Vegas.
Though the funds will not be available until early 2016, by completing an early application form, parents will ensure that their child’s time spent in public school during the 2014-2015 school year will be counted toward the 100-day public school attendance requirement needed, under the law, to qualify for an ESA.
Even if parents apply for an ESA now, they still can keep their children in public schools until the ESAs are funded. According to guidelines from the Treasurer’s Office, the accounts will be funded in early April 2016.
NPRI, which has long advocated for universal Education Savings Accounts, praised Treasurer Dan Schwartz for his work in implementing Nevada’s ESA program. NPRI Executive Vice President Victor Joecks offered the following comments:
The Treasurer’s Office has been very proactive in making sure that this desperately needed school choice is available for families looking for new options when it comes to their child’s education.
While families will not receive ESA funding until April 2016, the early application allows parents of public school students to move their children into private school for the start of the 2015-2016 school year so they can begin reaping the benefits of an education that is tailored to their unique needs.
Though families who choose to move their child out of public school in the fall will need to pay for their child’s education until the ESA funds become available, this is a sacrifice many parents have expressed their willingness to make, to ensure their children of the best education possible.
Joecks also noted that questions have been raised about the application process starting before January 1. He urged parents to read the law or contact the Treasurer’s Office if they had any questions.
If parents choose to move their child from public to private school for the upcoming school year, the ESA application must be received prior to the start of school in order to satisfy the 100-day public school requirement.
The Treasurer acknowledged the concerns of many families whose children are already in private school, home-based school or some other non-public education environment.
“The Treasurer’s Office is committed to drafting regulations that are both expansive and reflect legislative intent,” Treasurer Dan Schwartz said in a press release. “We especially hope to provide a clear picture on how parents can meet the 100-day requirement for their children.”
His office plans to hold additional public hearings on the regulations in September.
The open house that NPRI is holding Friday at its Las Vegas office, 7130 Placid St., Las Vegas, NV 89119, will celebrate the birthday of the father of the school choice movement, Milton Friedman.
Staff will be available to answer questions about Nevada’s ESA program and to assist parents who plan to file early applications.
NPRI is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that produces and shares ideas and information that empowers people. For more information, please visit www.NPRI.org.