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School Choice Bill Benefiting Low-Income Families Advances from Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 24, 2021

Media Release:
School Choice Bill Benefiting Low-Income Families Advances from Committee

LINCOLN — Today school choice advocates celebrated the advancement of LB364, the Opportunity Scholarships Act, by the Revenue Committee of the Nebraska Legislature. Sponsored and prioritized by Senator Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, LB364 was voted out of a committee with a vote of 5-3. 

LB364 would provide more scholarship opportunities for low-income children to attend a private school of their choice by creating an income tax credit for donations to scholarship granting organizations. 

School choice advocates released statements after the successful committee vote. 

“Education is a civil and human right. We have among the largest achievement gaps in the nation between white and Black children in Nebraska. In some schools, less than 20% of children are proficient in math and reading,” said Clarice Jackson, President of Nebraska Parents Coalition. “In some neighborhoods, these schools have been failing families for generations. This must stop. Families are desperate for options. The Opportunity Scholarships Act is an answer to the prayers of parents and the needs of children.”

“This is a big day for Nebraska, and we are one step closer to giving educational freedom to more families and kids across the state," said Jeremy Ekeler, Associate Director of Education Policy at the Nebraska Catholic Conference. "The Revenue Committee’s vote to advance LB364 will energize and empower the thousands of parents and kids advocating for more opportunity. We commend Senator Linehan for being a tireless and courageous champion for this bill and Nebraska kids, and we look forward to working with her and the 16 co-sponsors to get this bill across the finish line." 

"Today's vote to advance the Opportunity Scholarship Act from the Revenue Committee puts us that much closer to finally providing more children in Nebraska with the educational options families want and deserve," said Kim Schroll with Invest in Nebraska. "Every child, regardless of family income or ZIP code, deserves a high-quality education that meets his or her needs. We would like to thank Revenue Chairwoman Linehan and the other members of the committee who sided with children and families today, and we look forward to a full and fair debate about expanding opportunity to more children in Nebraska."

“I am happy to see the progress LB364 has made, and I encourage Nebraska State Senators to follow the lead of 18 other states who have benefited from scholarship tax credit programs," said Robert Ziegler, Superintendent LCMS, Nebraska Lutheran Schools. "Every child is unique and deserves to find the best educational fit, regardless of their family’s income. The Lutheran Schools in Nebraska could and will serve more children and families who struggle with poverty in greater numbers if LB364 is passed.”

For more information about LB364, visit this information page.

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