Hundreds of Nevada Students Benefit from School Choice Initiative, Opportunity Scholarships


Mari St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
CARSON CITY, NV - November 13, 2015

Governor Brian Sandoval today announced a successful launch to a major school choice initiative, the Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program, also known as Opportunity Scholarships. Sandoval introduced tax-incentive scholarship legislation during his first term and has continued to champion school choice throughout his tenure. After calling for legislation in his 2015 State of the State Address, he worked with the Legislature to see the Choice Scholarship bill through final passage.

"More than 350 students from across Nevada have now chosen their own path to an education that best suits their academic needs. This is a great win for parents and students in the Silver State," said Governor Brian Sandoval. "This past Legislative Session we made an unprecedented investment in Nevada's public education system and implemented structural reforms which will modernize and improve our delivery of education. Choice Scholarships give many Nevada students a chance to pursue an education they may not otherwise be able to obtain. I am confident that with time, this important school choice measure will help more children to unlock their full potential and reach greater scholastic heights.”

The Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program was established this year with the passage of Assembly Bill 165. The program offers tax credits to businesses that donate money to a scholarship organization. These organizations offer scholarships to Nevada students and allow children of low-income families to attend the school of their choice. The tax credits, available to any business which pays the Modified Business Tax, are limited to a total of $5 million in the 2015-16 school year with an increase of 10 percent per year thereafter. According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, the full allotment of $5 million in credits has been requested and there is a waiting list of businesses wishing to help provide scholarships.

The scholarships, awarded by nonprofit organizations which receive a contribution from the approved businesses, are directed to serve children in households with income not more than 300 percent of the poverty level.

Opportunity Scholarship Statistics

Active Scholarship Grant Organizations 3
Registered Schools 78
Number of Schools with Scholarship Recipients 42

Total Scholarship Grants Awarded 

Schools with 1 to 5 grants

Additional Opportunity Scholarship statistics can be found below.

A breakdown by zip code can also be provided, upon request.

Scholarship Organizations AAA Foundation  Education Fund
of N. NV 
Dinosaurs & Roses 
Scholarships Awarded 153 120 98
Pending 32 - 5
Smallest Award $3,750.00 $1,000.00 $2,100.00
Largest Award $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $7,755.00
Scholarships Forfeited* 3 14 24

*Scholarship awards are forfeited when another Nevada Scholarship Organization awards a scholarship.

Race/Ethnicity AAA Foundation  Education Fund
of N. NV 
Dinosaurs & Roses 
African American 8 8 9
Ethiopian 0 2 -
Asian 16 9 2
Caucasian 47 41 71
Hispanic 57 32 10
Native American 0 1 0
Mixed Race 3 2 4
Not Reported 22 25 2

Grade Levels AAA Foundation  Education Fund
of N. NV 
Dinosaurs & Roses 
Kindergarten 16 5 12
First 13 9 16
Second 18 4 10
Third 22 6 14
Fourth 7 3 13
Fifth 12 13 7
Sixth 13 5 7
Seventh 16 8 8
Eighth 12 11 8
Ninth 5 24 1
Tenth 10 13 0
Eleventh 5 12 2
Twelfth 4 7 0