(Grant Hewitt) – As the New Year races upon us we are excited to provide a quick update on Nevada’s ESA Program.
Those of you who have been following us from the beginning know exactly how far our team and this program have come. Together, we have made tremendous strides building the most expansive educational choice program in the country, and we are far from done.
Our first major announcement was that we were able to move our first funding date from April to February, but we did not stop there. We worked incredibly hard to take your input into consideration when crafting final regulations.
Our team held workshops and hearings crafting regulations that provided clarity to S.B. 302, ensured the program has protections against fraud and gives parents an active voice. None of these would have been possible without the hundreds of Nevadans who turned out to ensure their voice was heard.
For that we say Thank You!
Yesterday morning the Legislative Commission’s Sub-Committee on Regulations met to consider the adoption of these regulations.
After a number of statements and a few questions from members of the committee who were critical of our efforts to provide clarity to the law, and ensure children of active duty military families have as easy a transition as possible, the regulations were adopted.
The regulations provided two exemptions to the 100 day rule, those are:
- If your child is over 5 by September 30th of the school year and under age 7, they would be exempted from the 100 days. This means that children who are not required by Nevada law to attend a public school could exercise their educational choice without having to obtain 100 days in the public school system.
- If you are an active duty military family, who is based in Nevada, your children will not have to obtain the 100 days in a Nevada public school. This will help aid in the already difficult transition for families as they become stationed in Nevada. This is just a small way for Nevada to say thank you for your service, and welcome.
During the early enrollment period our office received over 1,500 applications from children under 7. We will now begin reviewing those applications to ensure they meet the standards listed above and will be sending out notices of acceptance in the first two weeks of January.
If you happen to be an active duty military family who is stationed in Nevada and have already applied for an ESA please contact our office at NevadaSchoolChoice@NevadaTreasurer.gov with your application ID and a copy of your orders and we will be happy to approve your application.
Also to those who have started to apply as participating entities (vendors), we appreciate your patience as we continue to trouble shoot some of the issues you may be encountering. Obviously during the holiday season it can take us a bit longer than we like to get these addressed so your understanding and patience is appreciated.
Our ESA team is excited to have crossed this important milestone and look forward to spending a few days with our families; we will be back in the saddle on Monday, January 4th. We look forward to answering all your questions when we return.
Mr. Hewitt is chief-of-staff to Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz