School Choice in NE: Your Support is Needed Now!
Nebraska is one of only two states that has not passed a school choice program.
The Opportunity Scholarships Act (LB753), introduced this year by Senator Lou Ann Linehan on behalf of Jim Pillen, is a legislative bill that provides scholarship opportunities for families, especially low-income families, to attend a private school of their parents’ choice.
Current demand for scholarship opportunities continue to outnumber the available number of scholarships and tuition assistance.
What is all this? – Quick Facts
- Scholarship tax credit programs like this one create new pools of funding so that children can receive scholarships to attend the private schools that they and their parents desire.
- Donations would be made to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs), which then award scholarships to eligible children (more on program parameters below).
There are many misconceptions surrounding the idea of School Choice. There is also research from the other 25 scholarship tax credit programs operating across the country that shows these programs have positive impact on student achievement and save money for state and local governments. See this one-pager linked here on the Misconceptions vs. Reality of LB753 – Opportunity Scholarships Act.
How will it work specifically?
- Tax-credit scholarships would provide expanded school access to many Nebraska families who can’t afford the best educational setting for their children.
- The state would provide $25 million in total income tax credits to incentivize donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs).
- The proposed program would provide a 100% state income tax credit for donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs). Donations are capped at 50% of an individual or business’s state tax liability.
- The program would give priority to students in families at 100% poverty level, as well as, students with “exceptional needs”, who have experienced bullying, in the foster system, in military families, or have been denied option enrollment.
Here’s where you come in.
How to Help Pass LB753:
Take 2 Minutes to Express Your Support!
Contact your State Senator to share why Catholic or other private education was the best fit for your child, or simply share encouragement to support this bill.
- Find your senator and contact information at https://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php.
- Information is also easily accessible at https://necatholic.org/TakeAction/.
Your personal story about your positive experience is best, whether you desired a faith-based environment for your child or you have already benefited from a private scholarship and you want others to have the same opportunity. Here also are a few email message templates suggested by the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC).
Scroll down for a list of Senators currently supporting this bill. Feel free to also contact any or all to say THANK YOU.
The Nebraska Legislature will soon debate LB753, and Senators need to hear from all of us that Nebraskans want to expand educational opportunities for low-income families. As Catholics, we know the power and importance of education. Please tell your State Senator to support LB753.
Questions? Reach out to Jeremy Ekeler, Associate Director of Education Policy at the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Phone: 402-310-5167 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a list from NCC of Lawmakers Currently Sponsoring LB753 below:
Senator Lou Ann Linehan – email@example.com
Senator Ray Aguilar – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Joni Albrecht – email@example.com
Senator Christy Armendariz – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Beau Ballard – email@example.com
Senator Tom Brewer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Tom Briese – email@example.com
Senator Rob Clements – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Barry DeKay – email@example.com
Senator Robert Dover – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Steve Erdman – email@example.com
Senator Suzanne Geist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Steve Halloran – email@example.com
Senator Ben Hansen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Brian Hardin – email@example.com
Senator Rick Holdcroft – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jana Hughes – email@example.com
Senator Teresa Ibach – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mike Jacobson – email@example.com
Senator Kathleen Kauth – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Loren Lippincott – email@example.com
Senator John Lowe – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mike McDonnell – email@example.com
Senator Terrell McKinney – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mike Moser – email@example.com
Senator Dave Murman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Merv Riepe – email@example.com
Senator Rita Sanders – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Julie Slama – email@example.com
Senator Brad von Gillern – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Justin Wayne – email@example.com