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Opinion: Nevada parents demonstrate massive desire for school choice

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esaworkshop1_1-3650892-4422608Source, Nevada Journal: Nevada parents demonstrate massive desire for school choice

Las Vegas parents swamped state treasurer hearing rooms at the Sawyer government center Friday, pleading that regulations soon to be written allow their children quickly into the state’s historic new Educational Savings Account program.

With the hearing room’s approximately 200-plus chairs soon full and people standing two-deep along one side and across the back of the room, Treasurer staff opened a smaller, overflow room in the back.

It, too, was soon overflowing.

What were the major questions on most attendees’ minds?

Clearly — given the repeated queries, pleas and statements of parents, school officials and others — those questions concerned a requirement in SB302, the enabling legislation introduced and sponsored by State senator Scott Hammond.

That bill requires that children, to qualify, must have “been enrolled in a public school in this State during the period immediately preceding the establishment of [their] education savings account[s] … for not less than 100 school days without interruption…”

What exactly that provision will be held to mean, legally, will first depend upon the regulatory implementation that the Treasurer’s office proposes. Later, after opponents of parental choice launch their expected legal challenges to the regulations and to the law itself, it will most likely depend upon the decisions of the Nevada Supreme Court.

esaworkshop2-3140215-9338873The standing-room-only Las Vegas attendance at July 17’s Education Savings Account initial workshop. The back of Sen. Scott Hammond’s head is seen at lower right, while Assistant State Treasurer Linda English is at right.

Still, possible exceptions to the 100-day restriction — for hardship, emergency and other cases — have been a subject of discussion within the treasurer’s office. And at Friday’s workshop, such exceptions were clearly on the minds of the parents in the room.

Nevertheless, an employee of the Nevada State Education Association teacher union, Mike McLamore, argued at length against any such exceptions.

Read more: http://nevadajournal.com/2015/07/18/nevada-parents-display-massive-desire-school-choice/

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