Today, teachers, students, administrators, and families packed the School Choice Rally at the Capitol because they understand this fundamental truth: educational choice matters.
The fact is, parents should have more control over their children’s education than the government. However, financial burdens prevent many families from pursuing the school that would best suit their child’s needs. And for those who seek help, there often aren’t enough resources to meet the demand. In 2017, Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha turned away 491 qualified students due to lack of scholarship funds.
One way Nebraska could increase educational choice for low-income families is by adopting LB 295, the Opportunity Scholarships Act. LB 295 would enact a tax credit for private donations to non-profit scholarship granting organizations. Tax credits provide a valuable incentive for donors and would increase the number of scholarships available to eligible students for use at non-public schools.
Senator Jim Smith introduced LB 295 in 2017. It was advanced from the Revenue Committee and placed on General File during last year. Senator Lou Ann Linehan intends to prioritize the bill, and it will be debated by the full Legislature this year.