Group files petition to put Nebraska’s private school scholarship bill on 2024 ballot, aims to repeal

LB753 passed in the Nebraska Legislature with a vote of 33-11
A petition has been filed in an effort to repeal the school choice law Gov. Jim Pillen signed this week.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 1:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - With aims to repeal it, a group has filed a petition to put Nebraska’s school choice bill to a vote on the 2024 ballot.

LB753 was signed by Gov. Pillen on Tuesday. The bill authorizes $25 million in tax credits for those who donate scholarships to private schools in Nebraska.

Supporters of the bill say the scholarships will support low-income families, giving them greater options on where to send their children to school.

Support Our Schools Nebraska is an opponent of the bill, and claims the law supports private schools while public schools - where the vast majority of Nebraska children are taught - are neglected.

“Our public schools educate 9 out of 10 kids in Nebraska,” said Jenni Benson, a sponsor of the Support Our Schools Nebraska petition. “Strong public schools support a strong Nebraska and a strong economy. Diverting millions of tax dollars to private schools will hurt our public schools as well as other essential public services and infrastructure.”

Support Our Schools Nebraska started a petition with the goal to put the bill to a vote on the 2024 general election ballot. The group says it will aim to gather more than 60,000 signatures.

Gov. Pillen issued a statement regarding the petition, saying, “Every kid in Nebraska deserves a high-quality education and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. The NSEA’s attempt to overturn the Opportunity Scholarships Act is an attack on our kids and their educational opportunities. I am confident Nebraska voters will reject any attempt to limit school choice for our families.”

The 33 senators that voted to approve the bill released a joint statement in response to the petition.