Laura Strimple, (402) 580-9495
John Gage, (531) 510-8529
Governor's Weekly Column: Every Kid Deserves School Choice
LINCOLN, NE – Below is Governor Jim Pillen's weekly column. Attached is a copy of his headshot.
Every Nebraska kid should be given the opportunity to have their educational needs met, whether they live in Omaha or Scottsbluff. Every parent regardless of socio-economic status should have the ability to decide what is the best school to meet their child’s need.
Currently, Nebraska remains one of only two states that does not support school choice. This leaves us uncompetitive with neighboring states and it means we are not giving our kids every opportunity to flourish at a school they want to attend.
This past week, I participated in a rally at the Capitol with six schools advocating for the Opportunity Scholarships Act, a priority bill to commit $50 million in tax credits to give underprivileged kids the ability to attend schools of their choice. Grants will be issued from qualified organizations to students who meet certain criteria. Priority will be given to those who live in poverty, foster care, experience bullying, harassment, or other victimizing behaviors, or have a parent or guardian, who is serving in the military.
I support this bill because I support competition. This legislation will give parents, who have kids with the greatest needs, the means to choose a school that serves them best and allows them to thrive.
The kids I met in the Rotunda already know that opportunity. Now, we need to give others the same chance. This is not about public education vs private education; it is simply about creating an opportunity for all parents to choose what they believe best fits their child’s needs.
Over the past two years, multiple states have taken focused steps to give parents and students more education alternatives.
I know all Nebraskans believe we should never, ever give up on a kid. The Opportunity Scholarships Act is part of my promise to make Nebraska a place where future generations can succeed. Now is the time for Nebraska to step up our competition in education to help our kids prosper.
If you have any questions about our vision for Nebraska, please call my office at 402-471-2244 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can!