Private schools’ precarious future: Tara Bevington, Rabbi Mendel Levine and Don Soifer
In the coming days, Gov. Steve Sisolak will decide how he will allocate Nevada’s share of the $3 billion federal Governors’ Emergency Education Relief Fund. The extent to which he includes our state’s private school students in his funding plan likely represents their best chance to survive economic conditions now and whenever schools are able to reopen.
The community of Nevada students who attend private elementary and secondary schools is relatively small. At five percent, it is about half of a national average which has barely changed over the past twenty years.
Ours is a sector of private schools rich in diversity. We have schools offering unique expertise serving children with special needs, as well as gifted and talented learners. Our faith-based schools represent 10 different denominations. Other Nevada private schools are dedicated to providing specialized schooling approaches rarely available from public schools, such as Montessori and Waldorf education.
Most of Nevada’s 20,000 private school students belong to working households where parents make regular sacrifices so that their kids can receive different educational experiences than they would in public schools. Thousands of Nevada’s private school students have household income eligibility for free and reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.
To read the rest of this column in the Nevada Independent, please click here.