Gov. Pillen signs Nebraska school choice bill

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Gov. Jim Pillen signed the Opportunity Scholarships Act on Tuesday, the first school choice bill in Nebraska’s history to be signed into law.

The bill commits $50 million in tax credits for those who donate to private school scholarship funds.

The potential scholarships will be available to all types of students, but priority is being given to those in poverty or foster care; those experiencing bullying, harassment or other victimizing behaviors; or have a parent or guardian in the military.

With the governor’s signature, Nebraska joins 48 other states offering school choice.

Pillen believes this legislation is a historic step forward for the state.

“Our kids are our future, and we all believe that every Nebraska kid should have the opportunity to have their educational needs met, whether they live in Omaha or Scottsbluff,” he said in a press release.

Pillen was joined at the signing by state senators, school choice advocates and students.

Sen. Justin Wayne said the priority of this bill is giving parents and their children hope, not disrupting public schooling.

“This is not an anti-public school bill,” he said. “This is a pro-parent bill.”

Tanya Santos, principal at Holy Name School, believes the bill will give many more parents the ability to choose the right educational fit for their children. 

“Today, we are blessed to witness the historic signing of this bill, which will give opportunity to Nebraska kids, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

Many of the attendees praised the governor, including Sen. Lou Ann Linehan.

“It has been my honor and privilege to be part of this effort and it would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of Governor Pillen,” she said.

Pillen hopes this serves as a steppingstone toward additional affordable schooling options.

Categories: Capitol News, Education News, Nebraska News, News