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February 27, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Sandoval to propose needs-based school voucher program


Justin M. Bowen

Gov. Brian Sandoval addresses the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011.

Updated Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 | 3:21 p.m.

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CARSON CITY - After repeatedly emphasizing during his campaign that every Nevada child should have access to school choice, Gov. Brian Sandoval will propose a needs-based voucher program that will allow poorer families access to more money than families with a higher income.

Sandoval will seek a constitutional amendment — which would require the Legislature to pass it twice before it goes to a vote of the people — to implement the voucher program.

In new details released today, Sandoval’s senior adviser Dale Erquiaga said the program would award families a certain percentage of the per pupil funding given to public schools based on how close they are to the poverty line.

Erquiaga said the administration has not analyzed how much the program would cost.

“At this point, we don’t see much sense in talking about how many dollars will leave the system because they won’t leave the system for six years,” he said.

During the campaign, Sandoval’s opponent estimated a voucher program would cost about $100 million, based on the number of children currently enrolled in private schools.

“That number is a fallacy,” he said. “It won’t cost $100 million. That would assume every child currently in private school will take a voucher. Well, in our proposal they aren’t all going to be eligible.”

Erquiaga said he wasn’t sure the exact income level that would make a family ineligible for the voucher, saying it was either 300 percent or 400 percent of poverty. SEE UPDATE BELOW.

During the campaign, however, Sandoval was adamant that every child have access to voucher money.

“The great thing about this is everybody would be eligible for it,” he said during the campaign. “Every family, every parent would have the ability to decide where they will send their child to school. I think that’s extremely important.”

Erquiaga backtracked when a reporter asked about Sandoval’s campaign promise.

“Well, I think it will be,” Erquiaga said. “There’s some level where you’ll get the lowest amount possible based on the needs test.”

UPDATE: After the press conference, Erquiaga checked the language of the bill draft request submitted by Sandoval. Under that language, the highest income families would be eligible for vouchers worth 50 percent of the per pupil funding. No families would be ineligible for vouchers.

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  1. "No families would be ineligible for vouchers."

    That's REALLY, REALLY important; because this is ALL ABOUT B.S. and his pals getting a HUGE REBATE on the exclusive, private educations their kids are enjoying.

    It will never change under Republican policy...
    Take from the less fortunate and give to the wealthy, AND make it seem like YOU are getting in on the action...

  2. Brian "El Caudillo" Sandoval will do everything possible to wipe out public education in Nevada. This voucher system that siphons money out of public education to subsidize the wealthy is but one more step. What next?

  3. Another hand out to the rich, where are these private schools in ELY? etc. This guy is a pathological liar.

    What about Jane Russel dying, that is more important.

  4. As soon as those kids miss 10 days of school in the semester then you pull the voucher and let them pay their own way.

    Money will not fix the problem. Making parents take some interest in their children and their education will fix the problem.

    You can not teach kids that do not show up for school.

  5. So he'll give the poor kids vouchers, but guess what, how is poor kid X going to get from his home on MLK and Cheyenne to Green Valley High School? He won't. It's that simple. He can give all the vouchers he wants to help the poor kids, but the reality is that a small percentage will actually be able to use them the way they are intended.

    Parents can get fined if their children aren't attending school regularly, but those fines come in the form of tickets. How about a progressively increasing fine that goes to the district or is paid to the school the child is supposed to attend? We'd end up with students attending school more often and a little extra money here and there.

  6. Erquiaga doesn't know the basics of his boss' own program!

    First he says that all kids in private school won't be eligible. When the EVIL LIBERAL PRESS calls him on it, he capitulates and admits that every single private school student in the system will be eligible for taxpayer subsidies.

    Secondly, according to the stooges at NPRI, 48% of parents would enroll their kids in private schools if financial assistance were available.

    Could you imagine what a drain that would be on our public school system? It would render it into destruction. You would essentially separate kids based on their income, relegating poor kids to underfunded schools while rich kids get rebate checks on their education.

    This is a scam, and Brian Sandoval should be ashamed of himself, and should FIRE Erquiaga for not knowing the basics of the program he's proposing.

    This administration is dangerously incompetent.