Nebraska lawmakers pass school choice bill, expanding opportunities for all students
May 24, 2023
Nebraska lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow for school choice in the state, expanding educational opportunities for all students.
Following a 33-16 final-round vote, LB753 heads to the desk of Gov. Jim Pillen, who reiterated his support Wednesday.
“LB753, the Adopt Opportunity Scholarships Act, is a huge step forward in giving Nebraska parents and students more school choice,” Pillen tweeted after the vote. “I look forward to signing this bill.”
The act, introduced by Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, will provide tax credits for donations toward private-school scholarships that would help students and families in need.
“Today is about the kids and families in Nebraska whose lives will be changed thanks to the freedom to attend a school that best fits their needs,” Linehan said in a news release. “It has been my honor and privilege to be part of this effort.”
In a joint statement Wednesday, Archbishop of Omaha George Lucas, Bishop of Lincoln James Conley and Bishop of Grand Island Joseph Hanefeldt celebrated Wednesday’s vote.
“As the first and primary educators of their child, parents are uniquely suited to tend to their child’s educational needs,” the bishops said. “Parents have the privilege, right, and duty to choose an education setting best for their child.”
“The passage of LB753 represents a profound affirmation of this fundamental principle that parents are the primary educators of their children. By providing scholarships opportunities to low-income families, LB753 will enable parents to exercise greater freedom in choosing the educational environment that best meets their children’s unique needs and aspirations.”
The bishops thanked the 33 senators who voted for LB753, and they expressed gratitude to Linehan for her years of dedication to school choice and education policy and Pillen for making school choice a priority.
“Every child deserves an education that nurtures their intellectual, spiritual and moral growth, and LB753 makes a transformative education more accessible to all children,” the bishops said.
Nebraska joins 48 other states offering some sort of school choice support – similar legislation in North Dakota was vetoed by the state’s governor last month.