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School choice in Nevada

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See also
School choice refers to the educational alternatives available to parents who do not wish to send their children to the local district public schools to which they are assigned. Public school choice options include open enrollment policies, magnet schools and charter schools. Other options include traditional school vouchers, scholarship tax credits, personal tax credits and deductions and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to receive public funds directly for educational expenses.[1][2]

School choice options in Nevada include: charter schools, homeschooling, online learning, private schools and voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment.

Educational choice options

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Charter schools

See also: Charter schools in Nevada

Charter schools operate under a charter issued by a local school district or the Nevada State Board of Education.[3] In the 2009-2010 school year there were approximately 27 charter schools in the state of Nevada.[4] The number of charter schools in Nevada grew to 32 during the 2012-2013 school year.[5]

Charter school authorizers are, according to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the organizations "designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools." As of June 2014, the organizations in the following table were listed by NACSA as charter school authorizers in Nevada:[6]

Magnet schools

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Magnet schools, sometimes called theme-based schools, are public schools of choice that use a specialized subject area or innovative learning approach to attract students from more diverse backgrounds. In fact, magnet schools began as a way to desegregate public schools through choice rather than force. Magnet schools can reach beyond the barriers of school districts, but they are still managed and funded publicly by local districts, even though they are centered around specialized themes and subjects.[7][8]

In the 2011-2012 school year, there were 2,949 magnet schools in the United States. In that year, Nevada had 37 magnet schools that served 42,779 students. Approximately 72 percent of students enrolled in Nevada magnet schools were classified as a minority. That percentage of students was predominately Hispanic. This was higher than Nevada's average of 62 percent minority enrollment. The state also reported an average student:teacher ratio of 22:1 in magnet schools, which is higher than the state average of 17:1 in traditional public schools. The table below lists this information again and compares it to Nevada's neighboring states.[9][10]

Magnet school participation, 2011-2012
State Magnet schools in the state Students in magnet schools Minority enrollment percentage Student:teacher ratio
Nevada 37 42,779 72% 22:1
Arizona 19 15,155 84% 18:1
California 281 282,213 76% 24:1
Utah 24 11,216 24% 22:1
Source: Public School Review, "Public School Review state magnet school pages," accessed December 12, 2014


An estimated 12,812 students were home-schooled in Nevada during the 2012-2013 school year, which represented approximately 2.67 percent of all students in the state.[11]

In order to homeschool their children in Nevada, parents or guardians must file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool for each child between the ages of seven and 18. This form is filed with the superintendent of the school district in which the children reside and only needs to be filed once, unless the name or address of the parent or child changes.[12][13]

Online learning

As of September 2013, Nevada had 11 online and blended charter schools and 15 district online programs. During the 2012-2013 school year, these online schools and programs served 10,414 fully online students, which represented a 19 percent increase from the previous school year.[14]

Private schools

In the 2011-2012 school year 23,735 students, or 5.41 percent of school age children, were enrolled in 146 private schools. Nevada ranks 43rd in the U.S. in private school attendance.[15]

Public school open enrollment

Nevada has a voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment policy. This policy authorizes school districts to admit students living in adjoining school districts, in state or out of state, and allows them to pay tuition for students attending an adjoining school district.[16]

Education ballot measures

See also: School choice on the ballot and List of Nevada ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no statewide ballot measures relating to school choice in Nevada.

Recent news

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Nevada Education News Feed

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See also

External links


  1. National Conference of State Legislatures, "School Choice and Charters," accessed June 18, 2014
  2. Friedman Foundation for School Choice, "What is School Choice?" accessed June 18, 2014
  3. Nevada Department of Education, "Charter Schools," accessed October 30, 2009 (dead link)
  4. Nevada Department of Education, "List of Charter Schools," September 25, 2009 (dead link)
  5. National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, "Total Number of Schools: 2012-2013 Nevada," accessed June 24, 2014
  6. National Association of Charter School Authorizers, "Nevada Charter Authorizers," accessed June 18, 2014
  7. Public School Review, "What is a magnet school?" accessed December 9, 2014
  8. Magnet Schools of America, "What are magnet schools?" accessed December 9, 2014
  9. National Center for Education Statistics, "Selected statistics from the common core of data: School year 2011-2012," accessed December 12, 2014
  10. Public School Review, "Nevada magnet schools," accessed December 12, 2014
  11. A2Z Home's Cool - Home Education from A to Z, "How Many Homeschoolers in America?" updated February 3, 2014
  12. A2Z Home's Cool - Home Education from A to Z, "Nevada Home School Laws," accessed June 24, 2014
  13. Nevada Revised Statutes, "Section 392.070," accessed June 24, 2014
  14. Keeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning, "Data & Information: Nevada," accessed June 24, 2014
  15. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Private School Universe Survey (PSS)", 2011-12 ; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey", 2011-12 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.," accessed May 12, 2014.
  16. Education Commission of the States, "50-State Analysis," accessed June 24, 2014