NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Exploring Nevada's Private Education Sector

September 22, 2015

Private school choice in Nevada scored a victory when Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill to create a tax-credit scholarship program and when the state enacted a nearly-universal education savings account program (ESA).

Nevada's private schools have enough empty seats to increase current private school enrollment by approximately 33%. A report produced by the Friedman Foundation synthesized information about Nevada's private schools.

Here are the most relevant findings:

  • 79% of respondent Nevada private schools said they would participate in an education savings account (ESA) program.
  • 75% said they would participate in a tax-credit scholarship program; and 80% said they would participate in a school voucher program.
  • 71% of respondent Nevada private schools enroll at least one student with special needs.
  • 81% of respondent schools require their students to take a nationally norm-referenced test or the state assessment to measure academic performance.
  • 64% of Nevada private school graduates continue their education at a four-year college.

The ESA program allows parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts which can be used to cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs and other higher education expenses.

Although Nevada was the fifth state to enact such a program, it was the first state to make the program available to every public school student in the state. Moreover, most students will be eligible to receive 90% of their funding allocation from the state, roughly $5,100. Special-needs and low-income students will receive 100% of their state funding allocation.

Source: Andrew D. Catt, "Exploring Nevada's Private Education Sector," Friedman Foundation, August 2015.


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