Our moral response
In Matthew 10:42, Jesus teaches us how we are to respond to Him and extend mercy to others. “Whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
The Opportunity Scholarships Act
God made parents the chief educators of their children, and He desires for us to help those on the margin. The Opportunity Scholarships Act, LB753, enacted in 2023 provides education freedom to many Nebraska families who can't afford the best school setting for their child.
A petition effort by Support Our Schools seeks to undo The Opportunity Scholarships Act. If the petitioners receive enough signatures by the end of August, they can subject the law to a ballot referendum in fall of 2024 and can block the law from taking effect - preventing children in need from receiving scholarships.
Reasons Not to Sign the Petition
Who it serves
The Opportunity Scholarship Program prioritizes students in families at 100% of the poverty level, as well as students with “exceptional needs,” who have experienced bullying, in the foster system, in military families, or have been denied option enrollment by public schools.
How it works
LB753 allows income tax credits to incentivize donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs). The program provides a state income tax credit for donations to SGOs. Donations are made to SGOs, which then award scholarships to eligible children.
Reasons Not to Sign the Petition
Archbishop George Lucas on Importance of Opportunity Scholarships
Frequently Asked Questions
More children will have the opportunity to attend a school best suited for their educational needs. There are nearly 21,000 school-age children living in poverty in the 23 counties comprising the Archdiocese of Omaha, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Opportunity Scholarships will offer even more of them a chance to attend a Catholic School if that is the best choice for their family.
Opportunity Scholarships go directly to the families of the children in need. Our schools will be even stronger because we'll be serving more children seeking the kind of transformational education Catholic schools provide.
If the Opportunity Scholarships Act is repealed, families who have been waiting for hope in education will have these new, exciting opportunities taken away. These are families who experience financial obstacles, military families, those with children with exceptional needs, those with children who have experienced bullying in the public school system. Every child deserves the opportunity to access the best educational fit. Declining to sign the petition to repeal LB753 will help make dreams possible for more Nebraska families.
Public schools are an important part of Nebraska life, and, in many cases, they offer a quality education. But public schools are not an ideal fit for every child. All students should all have the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive school, chosen by their parents, that meets their individual needs. Studies have shown that private school choice improved or had no detrimental effect on the performance of nearby public schools.
When a student attends a nonpublic school using a tax credit scholarship like Nebraska's Opportunity Scholarships, the scholarship frees up the state government from paying the public school the full cost of attendance for that student. And the cost to educate a child in a traditional district school is greater than the revenue a state foregoes through scholarship tax credit programs. It’s no wonder that tax credit scholarship programs, for example, end up saving each participating state anywhere from $13 million to $120 million annually. So, not only do tax credit scholarships not reduce public school funding, they provide additional revenues that could be used to invest in kids in public school settings. What's more, Nebraska lawmakers in 2023 also passed historic funding for public education - ensuring public schools will receive nearly $1 billion of increased financial support.