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
63 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide
1,692 scholarships awarded (2017–18)
86 participating schools (2017–18)
3 scholarship granting organizations (2017–18)
Average scholarship award: $4,530 (projected)
Maximum value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 92 percent
Corporations can 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 increased to $26.1 million in 2017–18 as a result of one-time infusion and will readjust to $7.2 million in 2018–19 with annual 10 percent increases.
Scholarship amounts are determined by SGOs. The maximum scholarship is $7,934 in 2017–18, a limit that increases by the Consumer Price Index increase each year.
All students that receive scholarships under this program must come from families whose household incomes are at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line ($73,800 for a family of four in 2017–18).
This scholarship program learned from the successes of others before it and has implemented many positive attributes for a school choice program. By including a budget escalator for 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 young, it could be broadened to allow for universal access. 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. Additionally, the regulations on the program are sensible and unobtrusive. Schools are allowed to choose the type of nationally norm-referenced test that best aligns with their curriculum and teaching style. Lastly, the one-time infusion of $20 million should be made permanent with the escalator being based on that number.
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.