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Education

LB295: Opportunity Scholarship Act

Opportunity Scholarships Act Advances From Committee For the First Time Ever May 23, 2017 -- After more than a decade of trying, the Opportunity Scholarships Act (LB 295) has advanced out of comm… Read More.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Know Your Rights

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December 2015, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and serving as the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Educat… Read More.


NCC Position Statement: 9/16/1996

Nebraska Parents who educate their children in non-government schools for religious or other reasons should be able to:

  • Exercise, without economic penalty, their parental rights and responsibilities to choose the education they deem best for their children
  • Obtain economic recognition for the substantial cost savings they provide the State and its governmental subdivisions by educating their children in non-government schools
  • Freely exercise their religious preferences in educating their children, regardless of their financial situation
  • Exercise choice and promote competition, thereby strengthening the State’s government and non-government schools

Parents are not being treated fairly under the present educational finance system.  All parents are subject to the State’s mandate to educate their children, but are provided free instruction only in government schools. This creates an economic burden on parents who choose to meet the State’s mandate by providing their children with education in non-government schools.

The inequitable treatment of parents choosing non-government schools fails to recognize the cost savings they provide the State of Nebraska, and fails to promote their freedom in fulfilling their responsibility to provide the instruction they deem best for their children. Moreover, in those many instances where the parents are financially unable to assume the added financial burden, their choice is effectively denied.

Accordingly, the present system needs to be modified in order to meet the above objectives and provide a fair and equitable system for the education of Nebraska children.


Websites of related interest


Opinions

LB364, the Opportunity Scholarships Act, was debated by the Nebraska Legislature last Wednesday. Several State Senators tried to kill this bill, which would help provide private school scholarships to low-income families, with a filibuster. After an eight-hour debate, it fell four votes short of the 33 votes needed to break a filibuster. The vote was 29-18 (two were “present-not voting”).

Our schools thrive on community relationships, built upon a bedrock of local control and family engagement. Knowing the friends and community members who help our schools and communities thrive is critical to human flourishing. Pope Francis has often spoken on the theme of “alienation.” Whether the alienation is from our own family and friends who surround us or the land that we work around us, this alienation is contrary to our human spirit which seeks community with others and seeks to know God through the work of our hands.

Every parent deserves the ability to choose an education that is best for their child. No parent should be denied this fundamental right. LB364 helps families lacking financial means to exercise school choice by increasing the number of scholarships available to those families.

Parents know that every child learns differently and finding a good educational fit can make a world of difference. Families with financial means can move to a better school district or afford a private education, but not all families are so fortunate. They deserve to have educational choices too, no matter their income or zip code.

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