New polling shows Nevada parents are rejecting Democrats on the issue of education amid serious concerns about learning loss during COVID, Nevada’s failing public education system, and as hundreds of low-income students face losing their opportunity scholarships.
The poll of 1,200 voters conducted across four battleground states conducted by Emerson College Polling on behalf of Democrats for Education Reform found Republicans lead on trust in education by 3%, reversing a double-digit lead previously held by Democrats.
In a summarized report by The Center Square:
Overall, 36% of voters in the battleground states trust Republicans more with “making sure public schools are preparing students for success after high school by ensuring they are teaching students to read and do math well,” compared to 33% who trust Democrats more. Another 17% trust neither, 7% trust both and 6% are unsure.
“It seems to us that voters recognize the broad contours – Republicans support school choice, Democrats oppose school choice – and render judgments accordingly,” the analysis read. “For the sake of parents who know their children could perform better in a different education setting, we hope Democrats eventually abandon their opposition to school choice policies, just as national Democrats have begun doing on voter ID.”
“The crisis in education has mounted into one voters simply cannot ignore,” Democrats for Education Reform CEO Jorge Elorza said. “Voters – especially parents – want to see more choices for their children. Republicans are capitalizing on this. Embracing public school choice isn’t just the right thing today, but it will help Democrats reconnect with frustrated voters and families who know that more of the same won’t fix our public education system.”
Erin Phillips, President and CEO of Power 2 Parent told The Globe: “While we maintain that education is – and should remain – a nonpartisan issue it’s hard to ignore that the champions for our children’s education and future continue to be on the conservative side. At P2P we urge all legislators to look past party ideology and see what this article clearly highlights. Our kids are the collateral damage of this ideology war and parents will trust whichever party gives them the most options to ensure a positive future for there children.”
The battle over school choice and opportunity scholarships took center stage during this past legislative session and is making an encore this summer. 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.”
As highlighted by Governor Lombard’s aligned Better Nevada PAC, legislative Democrats blocked efforts to provide any additional money to fund the ~$6.7 million program. The PAC has been relentlessly targeting vulnerable state Democrats, signaling that school choice will be on the ballot in the 2024 election.
Instead of supporting low-income students, @Nicole4Nevada slashed funding for their opportunity scholarships.
She chose to hurt Nevada children.
— Nevada War Room – Better NV PAC (@BetterNevadaPAC) July 27, 2023
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.”
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.”
In response to the Governor’s request, the Nevada State Education Association publicly railed against the governor’s proposal and urged the Interim Finance Committee to reject the request. Legislative Democrats have largely remained silent and have ignored requests for comment from the press on this developing story.
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