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Gov. Lombardo works to expand school choice in Nevada

AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt
Clark County Sheriff and Nevada Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo gives a victory speech during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Las Vegas. Lombardo ran against incumbent Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Republican Governor Joe Lombardo is working to fulfill his campaign promise to expand school choice in Nevada. Assembly Bill 400 would increase funding for Opportunity Scholarships to $500 million over the next two years.

The program allows families who meet certain financial requirements to use state funds to pay for other educational opportunities like private or home school.

Under Lombardo's proposal, the income threshold would grow from 300% of the poverty level to 500%, meaning far more families could enroll.

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Peter Guzman with the Latin Chamber of Commerce said the measure is a game changer for families.

"This bill ensures that every child has access to the best education possible and empowers Nevada families to choose what education model is best for their child's needs," he said.

The measure also reestablishes the state's "Read by Three" program, which requires third graders to pass a year-end reading test before they can move on.

Opponents, including teacher's unions, say the program's expansion would redirect much-needed state money away from traditional public schools.

Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.