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LB364 and Why Nebraska Needs It

Every single child deserves to go to a school that best suits his or her needs, regardless of income or zip code. But in Nebraska, this is not the reality.

For example in 2017, Children's Scholarship Fund of Omaha turned away 635 applications due to lack of scholarship funds. However, LB364 will help address this problem.

LB364 (Opportunity Scholarships Act) will create a state income tax credit for donations to scholarship granting organizations, i.e., nonprofits that turn nearly all their revenue into private-school scholarships for low-income students. The bill allows for private, not public funds, for these scholarships.

Want to learn more about answers to common misconceptions about legislation like LB364? Visit investinkidsnebraska.org.

Contact the Revenue Committee

We are now one step closer to giving educational freedom to more families and kids across the state! 

On March 24, LB364, the Opportunity Scholarships Act, was advanced by the Revenue Committee of the Nebraska Legislature. Sponsored and prioritized by Senator Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, LB364 was voted out of committee with a vote of 5-3.

We are so grateful to Senator Linehan who has been a tireless and courageous champion for this bill and Nebraska kids. And we thank each of the Senators listed below for voting 'YES' and putting kids first. Please take a moment to send YOUR SENATOR a note of thanks for their vote on LB364. 

Senator Lou Ann Linehan, District 39
Chair of the Revenue Committee
llinehan@leg.ne.gov  402.471.2885

Senator Joni Albrecht, District 17
jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov   402.471.2716

Senator Tom Briese, District 41
tbriese@leg.ne.gov   402.471.2631

Senator Mike Flood, District 19
mflood@leg.ne.gov   402.471.2929

Senator Brett Lindstrom, District 18
blindstrom@leg.ne.gov   402.471.2618

Sample Message of Support for LB364

Below you will find a sample message to send to the members of the Revenue Committee. Feel free to personalize and add in your own stories!

"Please support LB364 (Opportunity Scholarships Act) and advance this important legislation from committee!

One of our state’s most important responsibilities is ensuring that parents can access an educational setting best suited to their child’s needs. Unfortunately, too many kids in Nebraska don’t have educational choice simply because of their family’s socioeconomic status.

But LB364 can help overcome this obstacle by providing more low-income families with scholarship opportunities using private dollars incentivized by tax credits. Policies like LB364 have been proven effective in 18 other states. They're proven to save the state taxpayer dollars and improve educational outcomes for all kids. It’s a win-win for Nebraska.

I hope that you’ll vote LB364 out of committee and make sure it is adopted by our legislature. Let’s give kids in Nebraska a chance at educational choice and put them on a path to a brighter tomorrow!"


Educational Freedom

Parents have the right to choose a school for their children which correspond to their own convictions and should have true liberty in their choice of schools. When we have true educational freedom reflected in state and national policy, financial burden will not prevent families from choosing the education that best suits their child's needs. 

Macaria's Story

Macaria is a single mother of five children. Thanks to scholarships, all five children enrolled in Catholic schools. 

"I wanted my children to attend private schools because they have a great education and teach things like respect, discipline and morality. The future looks nice today because I can see my children attending college. I thank [generous donors] for the support that is given to us with the scholarships, because in our situation, attending a private school would be impossible - just a dream."

 

Education Choice Policies

According to a 2017 EdNext poll, tax-credit scholarships are the most supported (55%), least opposed (24%) type of private school choice policy. Unlike vouchers and education savings account, tax-credit scholarships allow for private donations, not public funds, to help low-income children choose schools that are best suited for them. 

Tax-credit scholarship programs exist in 18 states, including Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas (all states highlighted below). Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program is the nation’s largest, serving more than 97,000 students a year.

 

 

How does a tax credit scholarship work?

Find more education choice policy resources at EdChoice.

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