Nebraska Teachers Union Launches Petition To Overturn School Choice Law

Sarah Merly | June 8, 2023
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A day after Gov. Jim Pillen signed Nebraska’s school choice bill into law, unionized Nebraska public school employees and their advocates launched a movement to repeal it.


The bill, referred to as LB753, grants scholarships to families who cannot afford to send their children to private schools.

“Enabling the greatest number of parents and legal guardians to choose among quality educational opportunities for children will improve the quality of education available to all children,” explained Nebraska senator Lou Ann Linehan in Section 2 of the bill.

“Last time I checked, we’re supposed to support every one of our kids so they get the education that they deserve to become an incredible Nebraskan and give back to the state of Nebraska,” said Pillen at the bill’s signing.

Meanwhile, Support Our Schools Nebraska (SOSNE) aims to collect approximately 60,000 signatures on a petition to overturn LB753. The Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA), a state teachers’ union, launched SOSNE with a ceremony on the steps of the Nebraska capitol building. 

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“Our goal is to give Nebraskans the opportunity to vote to repeal this harmful bill,” said NSEA president Jenni Benson. “Diverting millions of tax dollars to private schools will hurt our public schools as well as other essential public services and infrastructure.”

“Not in Nebraska,” NSEA’s article about LB753, states. “Private schools can choose to accept or reject any student, and many have long waiting lists and only admit top students. Private schools can also discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizen status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or special education status.”

Such criticisms of LB753 neglect to mention that all taxpayers, whether or not they attend public school, are required to pay taxes for those educational institutions. In addition, NSEA seems to equate discrimination with disagreement, particularly in regard to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Even if SOSNE fails to repeal LB753, public schools can still benefit from the new law. “You’re gonna see more kids going to private school, but on the flipside of that, you’re going to start seeing the bar being raised for public school,“ said Omaha’s Quest Forward Academy Director Micheal Brown. “That’s what we’re shooting for in this country.”

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