Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship program was enacted and launched 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 then provide private school scholarships to families who meet the income requirements. Learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility and regulations on this page.
America’s 19th tax-credit scholarship program
53 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide
551 scholarships awarded (2016–17)
91 participating schools (2016–17)
3 scholarship granting organizations (2016–17)
Average scholarship award: $10,825 (projected 2016–17)
Maximum value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 129 percent
Nevada allows corporations to claim a 100 percent tax credit for contributions to approved scholarship granting organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships, counted against the Modified Business Tax. Taxpayers may carry forward a tax credit under this program for five years. The total amount of tax credits awarded statewide is limited to $5.5 million in 2016–17, a limit that increases 10 percent each year.
Scholarship amounts are determined by SGOs. The maximum scholarship is $7,763 in 2016–17, a limit that increases by the Consumer Price Index increase each year.
All students receiving scholarships under this program must come from families whose household incomes are at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line ($72,900 for a family of four in 2016–17).
This scholarship program learned from the successes of others before it and has implemented many positive attributes for a school choice program. By increasing the size of the tax credit cap year to year, the program will eventually grow to meet demand, and a tax credit of 100 percent per donor will help raise necessary funds for students. Although this program is still in its first year, it could be broadened to allow for people making up to 300 percent of the level of income needed to qualify for reduced-price lunch. Every family circumstance is different, and we should not arbitrarily cut off families at a predetermined level of income. This is somewhat mitigated by the near-universality of the state’s education savings account program, but nevertheless, these programs should be as broad as possible. Next, the current level of funding for the tax credit cap is low ($5.5 million), an amount that should be drastically increased in the coming years. The program does allow for current private school families to access the fund, a very welcomed addition as there are many families who have sacrificed to put their children in private school already. Those families should have the ability to access funding for their children’s education as well.
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.