In a press conference Aug. 30, opponents of school choice (so-called “Support Our Schools”) announced the outcome of their 90-day effort to gather signatures in an attempt to repeal the Opportunity Scholarships Act. This is a good chance to tell you what opponents announced at that press conference, what it means, and what’s next.
As a quick reminder, the Opportunity Scholarships Act is transformational legislation that was signed into law in May by Governor Jim Pillen, after being passed by a supermajority in the Nebraska Legislature. This school choice law is similar to programs in 24 other states, and will help thousands of Nebraska children find their right educational fit.
This legislation particularly focuses on the poor and vulnerable by prioritizing them for scholarships. We all know students get one shot at their K-12 education, and the Opportunity Scholarships Act makes sure kids succeed at that one shot.
Throughout the signature petition drive against this law, misinformation abounded, as I’ve written about on numerous occasions. We invite you to learn the truth about common sense and life-transforming scholarship tax credit legislation. The best place to learn more about the legislation is www.KeepKidsFirstNebraska.com.
At the press conference, opponents of educational freedom claimed they gathered enough signatures (over 61,000) in enough counties (38 or more) to place LB753 Opportunity Scholarships on the November 2024 ballot.
What does this mean?
While opponents claimed to have secured enough signatures, we will look for official results from the Nebraska Secretary of State in the next three to five weeks. The Secretary of State will review the 117,000 signatures that were submitted and certify which of those signatures qualify toward the 61,000 signature requirement.
In the meantime, efforts are already underway to deliver the first round of scholarships to children in need for the 2024-2025 school year, as LB753 will still go into legal effect, as the opposition did not get enough signatures to put the law into a moratorium.
As always, we turn to prayer as we anticipate the official results.
Should it be validated that opponents collected enough signatures in enough counties, LB753 Opportunity Scholarships will be placed on the November 2024 ballot. This is not defeat, however. The fight for educational freedom has just begun!
This will mean a year filled with educating the public on the value of school choice. Sadly, it will also mean a continued campaign of misinformation against school choice by opponents. (As a side note, over the course of the last few months, I’ve had several people who have reached out to me who do not support school choice and the Opportunity Scholarships Act. I appreciate those who have written and shared their passion. I always invite readers to reach out and ask questions or challenge what I am saying in support of certain public policy proposals.)
That said, the Opportunity Scholarships Act will go into legal enactment very soon. When the bill takes effect, we look forward to the first round of scholarships reaching children in need for the 2024-2025 school year!
God bless your continued efforts of being a committed advocate for school choice—and continue to pray for the success of the Opportunity Scholarships Act.