Next Up Blog

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the 2015 law which governs much of the nation’s elementary and secondary education, requires that students attending nonpublic schools receive equitable services in certain specified categories, including professional development for teachers and administrators.

Under Title II, Part A of the legislation, funding for educators’ professional development can be carried out by state education agencies or local school districts.  The law requires that these entities must provide written assurances, in exchange for the funding they receive, that they have provided equitable services for these activities to the private schools as well as to the public schools they serve.

Private schools in many jurisdictions may be operating without a full understanding of these provisions, and their students and teachers may as a result be receiving less support for these activities than the law requires.

Also under Title I, which supports the needs of disadvantaged students, states and school districts must provide proportional funding for students without first excluding the costs of certain expenses, which had been permitted under the previous law.

This analysis from the Center for American Private Education discusses these provisions in detail.

If you are operating a Nevada nonpublic school and are concerned that you may not be receiving the equitable resources which the federal law provides, let us know, and Nevada Action for School Options would be happy to review your situation with you.

When California’s Fresno Unified School District announced, “We Declare Our Vision for Education,” they ratified a new commitment that stands to benefit all of their schools’ diverse population of learners.  In doing so, working with pioneering education nonprofit Go Public Schools, they raised the bar for teaching and learning in ways Nevada schools can both learn from and find inspiration in.

“We, together as a community of educators, students, parents and community allies, must design new public school systems, schools, and learning environments organized around new principles,” the declaration announced.

Nevada Action’s Don Soifer discusses in this  3-minute video.

This report, issued last month by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, discussed “charter school deserts” in communities where families do not have access to quality charter school options within a practical distance.  The analysis lists, “Central/northwest/northeast parts of the Last Vegas metro area, central/western/northern parts of the Reno metro area,” as Nevada’s most prominent “charter school desert” regions.

To be certain, Las Vegas is in a desert.  And more, high-quality schools, including schools of choice, would represent valuable education opportunities for families in those areas, many of which are underserved by quality public schools.

Some of Nevada’s newest charter schools, including those under the jurisdiction of the Achievement School District like Futuro Academy and the soon-to-open Nevada Prep, have done an inspiring job marketing their school to otherwise educationally underserved communities, and finding ways to locate their campuses where families there can access them.  For other schools, however, finding viable facilities in underserved areas and a dearth of effective public transportation options has made it extremely difficult for schools of choice to serve those families most in need.

The Nevada Educational Opportunity Scholarship program presents one potentially valuable way to help schools serve families with the most limited options (this summer we will launch an initiative we think will help).  Hopefully, Nevada policymakers will continue to explore ways to help schools of choice locate nearest those families most in need of the opportunities they have to offer.

Personalized learning, like so much of what we value most in our schools, should be aligned to the particular educational needs of individual learners – that’s what it’s all about. Success depends on the ways schools support teachers: providing them with effective professional development focused on making the plan work; embracing their iterations and experiments as they work to continually improve their practices; and ultimately putting them in the position to succeed in targeting instruction, interventions and enrichment, including with actionable information to support personalizing learning for all students. Personalizing learning in this way, and to scale, has great promise to transform our educational practices and substantially improve outcomes.

Classrooms that involve technology in providing instruction are frequently described as “blended.”  Educators working strategically with blended tools have raised the bar for enrichment of learning opportunities. For example, the Las Vegas Valley’s Pinecrest family of charter schools during the 2017-18 school year have used classroom technology to allow middle school students to interview subjects including some of the world’s most renowned surgeons, well-flown astronauts, accomplished journalists and A-list celebrities. Students also experience fun, standards-aligned “edutainment” lessons like exploring the interior of plant cells using 3-D animation.

Personalizing teaching and learning for all students leveraging technology requires broad, sustained commitments. This includes adhering to educational improvement strategies enabling teachers to connect with students in effective and engaging ways, allowing the differentiation for meeting each learner “where they are” in their own individualized trajectory of learning.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


This Thursday afternoon, May 17, join us for the fourth and final event in our Spring Speakers Series, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision with two dynamic leaders for educational opportunity.

We are honored to bring the remarkable Gerard Robinson, President of the Center for Advancing Opportunity, a founding leader of Chiefs for Change during his tenure as Secretary of Education for Virginia and Florida, and chair of the Trump Administration’s education transition team, to the Las Vegas Valley, where he will share the podium with the Las Vegas Valley’s own impassioned champion for parental choice, State Senator Scott Hammond.

As always, this event is free to all with a reception in our courtyard immediately following.  Join us in our offices, 241 West Charleston Boulevard (behind Lola’s Restaurant), Suite 150 – abundant parking in any unreserved space in the lot.  Please RSVP to  Hope to see you Thursday.