LINCOLN – School Choice Week is this week and Governor Pete Ricketts talked about some of the initiatives and bills his administration is supporting to support what he called educational freedom. He officially signed a proclamation that made January 24-30 school choice week in Nebraska.
The Governor says that, in this legislative session, there are a couple of proposals to support school choice.
I put in the budget, two million dollars for each of the next two years, so four million total, for a choice scholarship program. Senator Linehan has introduced LB 364 as part of that to be able to, again, make sure that low income kids have that choice to attend a school.
Another initiative they are taking is to triple the funding for the Textbook Loan Program.
This is a textbook loan program, it’s for private schools. Typically it’s funded at about half a million dollars a year. I’m proposing, over the biennium, to fund it at three million dollars a year. So it will take it from a million dollars over the biennium up to three million dollars. Assistance for private schools and homeschoolers to get those textbooks so they can have that opportunity as well.
The Governor also had a couple of people, a student and a parent, talk about why they support school choice and they talked about how every child is different and they shouldn’t be forced to go to a school just because of the zip code they live in.