Home>Articles>OPINION: Catholic School Shuts Down after NV Democrats Cut Scholarship Program

Students in uniform at St. Anne's Catholic School. (Photo: St. Anne's Catholic School)

OPINION: Catholic School Shuts Down after NV Democrats Cut Scholarship Program

If you want to change the law, you have to change the lawmakers

By Kelly Chapman, April 29, 2024 2:32 pm

The Las Vegas Review-Journal (RJ) published a devastating editorial on Monday detailing how St. Anne’s Catholic School – an elementary school serving low-income, mostly minority children – is shuttering its doors thanks to Democrats in the Nevada Legislature.

“They just keep closing all the ones on the side of town where we need them,” said Suzanne Soto, a parent who chose St. Anne’s over the public schools in her neighborhood.  “And we don’t have other private schools we can afford.”

As the RJ notes, the nearby Park Elementary public school “is a one-star school where fewer than 35 percent of students are proficient in reading,” while Crestwood Elementary is also a one-star school where “just a quarter of students are proficient in reading.”

Nevada’s “Opportunity Scholarship” program was a lifeline for both the school and parents such as Ms. Soto.  The Opportunity Scholarship money enabled low-income parents to afford private school tuition, which meant the school had enough students to continue operating.

“School choice is most important for low-income families because well-off families already exercise school choice,” the RJ notes. “Those parents can afford private school tuition or they move to a neighborhood with high quality schools. Low-income families remain stuck in failure factories.”

Governor Lombardo advocates for Opportunity Scholarships for low- income students (Photo: @JosephMLombardo)

Gov. Joe Lombardo proposed increasing funding for Opportunity Scholarships at the start of last year’s legislative session. But the Democrat majority dug in their feet and actually CUT funding for the program instead, leaving families such as Ms. Soto’s out in the cold.

Democrats chose to do what was best for the teacher’s unions that fund their campaigns rather than what’s best for our children. They were more worried about protecting the interests of their donors than the interests of the voters who elected them.

I’m fed up with elected officials who put re-election ahead of kids from low-income families who need an excellent education to escape poverty and give them a shot at a brighter future.

My opponent, Assemblyman Duy Nguyen, is one of them. He refused to support Gov. Lombardo’s effort to help these children. It’s one of the many reasons I’m running against him.

If you want to change the law, you have to change the lawmakers. It’s time to fight back by replacing legislators who are standing in the schoolhouse doors and refusing to let low-income students escape.


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