Breaking Barriers: Nebraska Launches Its First State-Run Private School Choice Program

Lawmakers estimate that the new scholarship program will allow about 5,000 additional students to choose private schools in Nebraska.

MIAMI, FL — Nebraska has broken new ground in the school choice opportunities available to families by enacting the Opportunity Scholarships Program. This tax-credit scholarship initiative, starting in 2024, will provide access to quality education options for low-income families and students with special needs, experiencing bullying, in foster care, denied option enrollment, or with a parent or guardian actively serving in the armed forces or the National Guard.

The National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF), a nonprofit that helps parents navigate K–12 education options in traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and home education environments, has developed a comprehensive guide to help families navigate the Opportunity Scholarships Program. This guide provides information on eligibility criteria, expected next steps, and the donation process for those contributing to scholarships. The guide will be updated on a rolling basis as the program is implemented over the next year.

Starting in 2024, these tax credit scholarships will be available, allowing families to participate in the program. Lawmakers estimate that approximately 5,000 additional students can access their choice of private schools, leading to a more diverse and robust educational landscape in Nebraska.

In the guide, families can find important information, such as the following:

  • What is the Opportunity Scholarships Act?
  • Who can apply to the Nebraska Opportunity Scholarships Program?
  • How much are Opportunity Scholarships?
  • Where can families use their scholarships?
  • When can families apply for a scholarship?
  • How much can taxpayers donate to the scholarship?

“Nebraska’s new Opportunity Scholarships program will open doors for many families to choose schools that were previously out of reach for them,” said Shelby Doyle, vice president of public awareness at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. “With such a significant change to education options in the state, parents need practical information and guidance from local leaders about how they can apply these opportunities to meet their children’s needs.”

More information and resources for journalists can be found at schoolchoiceweek.com/multimedia. More information for families can be found at https://schoolchoiceweek.com/states/nebraska/.

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The National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) raises broad and positive awareness of school choice through two charitable programs: National School Choice Week each January and the research, development, and promotion of comprehensive and unbiased school navigation resources for parents via School Choice Week and Conoce tus Opciones Escolares. NSCAF does not advocate for or oppose legislation at any level of government and is steadfastly nonpartisan and nonpolitical.

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