Special Interest Group Blocks ESA Initiative
April 12, 2022
Parent favorability for choice reforms graph from EdChoice

Educate Nevada Now, an organization funded by Rory Reid (Harry Reid’s son), blocked an ESA Voucher initiative submitted to the Secretary of State by Education Freedom for Nevada. This is the second time in 10 years this group has blocked these types of initiatives. Public union backed big money wants to keep kids locked in failing public schools to pad payrolls and retirement funds for bloated staffs.

Data has significantly shown that school choice options lead to higher college enrollment, less crime in communities, and overall outcomes for all students. An ESA, or Educational Savings Account, creates a personal account that stores a child’s state education dollars that parents can use to pay for school tuition and fees, textbooks, tutoring and special therapies and other approved expenses, so a child’s education is truly customizable. Participating families are able to choose the best education for their children through multiple providers.

While this particular initiative was poorly worded and executed to the SOS…having no clear path of how it would be funded, the point to emphasize is that public unions and special interest groups with huge bankrolls continue to fight every pathway to choice in our state’s education, which in turn hurts our children. They’ll spend egregious money on lawyers in court to block initiatives that provide pathways for better education, while screaming in legislative sessions about more funding for a broken system.

Polling shows a substantial number of voters are in favor of school choice options for students. We saw the highest level of support for education choice from parents in 2020, with millions of parents seeking options while public teachers unions and state legislators kept their children out of school. That support remained at high levels in 2021, and looks to continue in 2022.

parent support of school choice

The point is, parents AND voters want options outside of the public education system and deserve to be heard. In Clark County the school district is too large, mismanaged, and is draining our state resources while leaving our children unskilled and unprepared. As Governor of Nevada, I would:

  • Work diligently to split up CCSD into smaller districts, each having their own Board. Smaller districts allow for more local level accountability, oversight, and structure.
  • Work to implement or expand Educational Savings Accounts, Tax Credit Scholarships, and Vouchers.
  • Reduce red tape involved with starting new Charter Schools, Microschools, and other innovative options.

As a leader of the state our Governor should have his finger on the pulse of what the people want. Our current Governor isn’t listening to the people, who’ve clearly said they want more choice. He has not taken actionable steps to increase our quality of education in the state. His loyalties lie with the public teachers unions and his political party, period. That’s not leadership. It’s time for a new path forward.