Many parents don’t know that they have options. They don’t understand that they have the right to direct their child’s education. That direction can be into a public school, a private school, homeschooling, or even simply transferring to another school. We’re here to help!
Charter schools are independent public schools that are exempt from many state and local rules and regulations in exchange for increased financial and academic accountability. Though these schools are autonomous public schools, they are typically required to adhere to state-based standards and to administer the state assessment.
Nevada is a unique state; while many other states had an influx of charter schools, a moratorium on start ups existed here for many years. In 2011 the Nevada legislature created the State Public Charter School Authority. It’s mission is to improve and influence public education in Nevada by sponsoring high quality public charter schools that prepare all students for college and career success and by modeling best practices in charter school sponsorship.
Nevada is now primed for a great charter school atmosphere- a friendly and helpful statewide authorizer which is committed to high quality charter schools. While charter laws still need some improvement, the atmospherehas wholly improved.
When a family is researching charter schools in Nevada, it is important to note there are two distinct kinds of charters. One type has it’s own brick and mortar school building. If you choose this type of school your family is usually responsible for the transportation. The other type of charter school is called Distance Education-meaning the learning is done primarily from the home, usually via the computer.
It is important to note that there is a distinct legal difference in Nevada between learning from the home environment via a publicly funded charter school, and the homeschooling option.
Recommended sources for additional information:
State Public Charter School Authority: http://charterschools.nv.gov/
Nevada Dept of Ed List of Charter Schools: 2013 Charter School List
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, www.publiccharters.org
The Center for Education Reform (CER), www.edreform.com
Homeschooling is a form of education for children outside of public or private schools, typically within their own homes. In Nevada, a parent or guardian can choose to homeschool. They would submit a one-time Notice of Intent to Homeschool, signing that they are responsible for directing the child’s education, at the beginning of compulsory school age. Homeschoolers in Nevada do not need to teach to state standards (nor common core) and are not required to test.
The homeschooling atmosphere in Nevada is great. There is a unified statewide homeschooling advocacy organization that works to keep homeschooling least restrictive. There are also many local support groups to help guide families in homeschooling and to provide additional classes/activities/support.
Parents are allowed to withdraw their child from a public district or charter school, and receive a payment into a government-authorized savings account with restricted, but multiple uses. Parents then can use these funds to pay for private school tuition, virtual education programs, private tutoring, or college expenses.
The 2015 Nevada Legislative session passed SB302 Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available! Read the bill as enrolled here: SB302