2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 88%
Education Savings Account
Nevada’s Education Savings Account (ESA) Program, enacted in 2015, is the nation’s first universal ESA program. The program allows parents to access a portion or all of their children’s public education funding to pay for services like private school tuition, curriculum, learning therapies, tutoring, and more. After a legal challenge, the program was found constitutional but the Nevada’s legislature did not fund the program in 2017.
Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship program was enacted in 2015. The tax-credit scholarship program allows corporations to claim a 100 percent tax credit when they contribute to approved Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). The SGOs provide private school scholarships to families who meet the income requirements.
Charter Schools Score: 75%
Nevada earns a C in the Center for Education Reform’s (CER) most recent charter school law rankings. Regulations in Nevada stifle the growth of a promising charter sector.
Law allows multiple entities—even universities—to authorize charter schools, but the Nevada Public Charter School Authority authorizes most.. The Authority takes a heavy regulatory approach. This prevents new, innovative operators from establishing schools.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed in 1997
- Number of Charters: 43
- Estimated Charter Enrollment: 39,900 (up 17 percent from 2015-16)
- Nevada does not have a cap on the number of charter schools allowed
- Virtual Charter Schools are permitted
- Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs with some restrictions (such as no more than 30percent of staff can be employed by the EMO)
- Nevada earns a 7 of 15 points for “authorizing” because the law allows for multiple entities to authorize charter schools: school districts, the state public charter school authority, and universities. However, in practice, universities in Nevada do not act as authorizers, perhaps because the state heavily regulates authorizing activities.
- Nevada earns 12 of 20 points for “growth.” The state doesn’t cap charter schools, but there has effectively been no growth in the number of charter schools for two years. The number of schools that exists in Nevada does not meet current demand (as can be seen by the large increase in the number of students who are attending charter schools).
- Nevada earns 9 out of 20 points for “operations.” Charter schools do not have a blanket waiver from regulations that apply to district schools; they must seek permission from the local school board to extend the school year. Further, charters are reliant on their authorizers to make many operational decisions. This limits autonomy. Additionally, the law requires charter school teachers to be certified, which limits the autonomy of school leaders to assemble staff.
Nevada earns 6.5 of 20 points for “funding equity.” Charter students are included in district calculations for funding purposes. A charter school is entitled to receive a proportionate share of money available to districts from federal, state, or local sources. Authorizers may deduct up to 2 percent for administrative fees, but charters meeting certain requirements can request to lower it to 1 percent. Authorizers can also request reimbursements from charters for administrative costs. Nevada’s law does provide for per-pupil facilities funding. The law provides for funding from a legislative appropriation, but this has yet to occur since charter law was established.
Teacher Quality Score: 72%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D
Identifying Effective Teachers C-
Retaining Effective Teachers C-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers B+