Home>Articles>Gov Lombardo Proposes Funding To Rescue Opportunity Scholarship Program

Governor Joe Lombardo visits with students at Doral Academy in Reno, NV (Photo: @JosephMLombardo)

Gov Lombardo Proposes Funding To Rescue Opportunity Scholarship Program

As Democrats seek to ‘starve the program,’ the Governor’s Finance Office is requesting $3.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to fund it

By Megan Barth, July 31, 2023 11:19 am

On Friday, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo proposed utilizing unallocated federal COVID relief funds to prevent hundreds of low-income school children from losing their opportunity scholarships.

In a memorandum submitted by The Governor’s Finance Office, the office is requesting $3.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to fund the Opportunity Scholarship program for the upcoming school year. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee has 15 days to take action or it is deemed approved.

“I have been fighting for these children since I took office,” said Governor Joe Lombardo. “The Democrats in the Legislature refused to fund these scholarships, and the result is that unless we take action now, these children will be forced out of their schools for the upcoming school year. It’s unacceptable to me to let that happen.”

The program has been controlled by the Democratic majority in recent years and the Nevada Independent reports that Democrats are seeking to “starve the program.”

In response to the Governor’s request, the Nevada State Education Association railed against the governor’s proposal and urged the Interim Finance Committee to reject the request. To note, Governor Lombardo signed a K-12 education budget that awards a historic $2 billion in funding for Nevada’s failing public education system.

As reported by The Globe, the battle over school choice was well-chronicled throughout the 82nd legislative session as Republican Governor Joe Lombardo and Democratic leadership could not reach a compromise on opportunity scholarships. Legislative Democrats blocked efforts to provide any additional money to fund the ~$6.7 million program. The program is funded by the private sector through modified business tax credits.

Although funded through tax credits, Democrats have labeled the popular and in-demand program as a  “scam”, a “voucher program”, and a program that “diverts taxpayer money from public education.”

Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager amplified those claims while in session but is now avoiding the press.

Recently, Yeager publicly sounded off in a Twitter row with Valeria Gurr, a mom and a lobbyist who advocates for school choice.

As Democrats hold the majority on the Interim finance committee, without additional funding, approximately 600 students are at risk of losing their scholarships. Although Yeager and his Democratic colleagues are avoiding the press at this time, Governor Lombardo’s PAC is seemingly making school choice a 2024 campaign issue–an issue that the Democratic majority will not be able to avoid while on the campaign trail, especially if they will be facing hundred of parents whose children lost their opportunity scholarships due to partisan politics.


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3 thoughts on “Gov Lombardo Proposes Funding To Rescue Opportunity Scholarship Program

  1. f@SteveYeagerNV and @Nicole4Nevada the money is not hurting the already hurting public schools in the current administration.

    As a tax payer, why are you not happy with the historic amount of money poured into failing public education?

    Why are you insisting on holding children who deserve the best opportunities available to them. Parents who are doing the right thing in doing everything possible to give their children the best opportunities life has to offer.

    f@SteveYeagerNV and @Nicole4Nevada are you hell bent on children from economically challenged households become products and victims of their circumstances?

    You must have no idea what a reprieve daily life can be for a young student to get out of their current environment and be able to simply learn. For parents to know their children are safe while they are at work.

    Why are you actively working against the best interests of children from socioeconomic backgrounds?

    I hope you take time in whatever you do as lobbyists or whatever it is you do. And instead of taking the freeway to your destinations can take the streets and talk to the Opportunity Scholarship recipients and many more waiting for an opportunity like this.

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