Public School(s)-House Rock

Public School(s)-House Rock


While there are no elections on the docket in Nebraska for the rest of the year, grassroots progress and change are still being made every. single. day. 

In this most recent legislative session, the Republican held state legislature passed LB753, which is intended to use taxpayer dollars to fund scholarships for children attending private schools. 

The whole point of school choice is that it’s… well… a choice. However, when the taxpayer dollars of a struggling family farmer in western Nebraska are funding an already well off school in Lincoln– that is the furthest thing from strengthening our schools.

In an effort to ensure that the will of the people is heard, the folks at Support our Schools have been organizing and getting signatures statewide to ensure that a vote to repeal LB753 will be on the ballot.


The Private/Public Dilemma

I don’t get the argument for this bill– I mean, the whole point of private schools is that they are private. I can’t buy a private car for myself and then come begging the government to have taxpayers pay for it. Having the public pay for it would defeat the purpose of it being private.

At that point– it’s almost like we should be giving our public money to public schools.

Public schools are one of the best things that Nebraska has to offer, we are in the top 4 of all states. Why would we reduce funding for one of the best things that our state has going for it??

Support our Schools super-volunteer and public educator Wes Jensen had this to say about the bill, “I can only imagine the opportunities $25 million this year & next would do for our public schools. Imagine the possibilities when the cap goes to $100 million (& who knows where in the next decade, though other states show it won’t stop there). Free breakfast & lunch, smaller class sizes, 1:1 devices, keeping & even expanding extra-curricular activities, and so much more.”

The perfect case study for why public dollars should go to public schools is already playing out in McCook, Nebraska, where the McCook Public School District is bracing for a $450,000 loss in state funding due to Pillen’s private school scheme. 

The reduction in state funding is going to result in many Nebraska public school systems, especially those in rural and already underfunded communities, dealing with understaffed and underfunded schools, while those already well off in Lincoln, Omaha, and their suburbs see their private school systems only grow in wealth.


Behind Closed Doors

However, private schools oftentime score as some of the best in the country, leading people to believe that if private school students test well, more kids in private school must be good… right?

I mean– it would be great if kids in our state’s most vulnerable communities got put into schools with small classroom sizes and well-funded teachers, but the fact of the matter is that the scholarships that are being funded by LB753 are not going to the kids who need it most.

Part of private schools being, well, private, is that they are not accountable to the same institutions and laws as public schools. They can turn away admission to children with disabilities, masquerading their discrimination by saying “I’m sorry, we cannot accommodate the needs of your child”. These children who will be turned away are the ones who need resources the most– such as those with individualized learning plans (IEPs), 504 medical accommodation plans, and those with behavioral concerns.

The public schools are then the ones who need to pick up the slack, having to budget in funds for reading specialists, behavior specialists, registered nurses, social workers, teaching assistants, and counselors while private schools are required to have none of these positions on staff.

Despite public schools taking in the largest population of students who need help the most– Pillen and Co. want to take your taxpayer dollars and divert them to the already well-off schools while the most vulnerable students continue to struggle and get less resources directed to them.

That is why the Support our Schools effort is so crucial. If you are looking to sign the petition to keep public dollars in public schools, use this interactive map to find a place by you to sign!

If you are looking to get involved, contact the Support our Schools crew on Facebook and Twitter to find out how you can help gather signatures in your area!


Around the Horn

Everyone’s favorite ex-President is really embracing the whole “Florida man” shtick. After getting arrested on federal charges, Donald Trump visited a local diner where he exclaimed “FOOD FOR EVERYONE!”, only to leave 10 minutes later without picking up the bill for anyone. I mean, the dude is unhinged, I feel like we’re only a week away from getting a headline of, “President Trump Challenges Taco Bell Employee to Wrestling Match over Baja Blast Dispute”.

Wednesday Night’s C-SPAN coverage featured my personal favorite event of the year– the Annual Congressional Baseball game. Democrats, frankly, got their butts kicked in a 16-6 rout against the GOP. After last November’s amazing performance by Democrats in the midterms, this “red wave” is the biggest that the Republicans have had in ages! However, it was all for a good cause, as the game raised over $1.5 million for the Boys and Girls Club of Washington.

We’ve had a huge week for Husker athletics as well (sorry Creighton fans)! Nebraska Volleyball hired all-time Husker great and US Gold Medalist Jordan Larson onto the coaching staff earlier this week! The Huskers women’s sports are firing on all cylinders, as Nebraska Softball brought in #1 player in the nation, 2x National Champion, and Papillion native Jordy Bahl. This move is being dubbed as one of the biggest transfers in all of college sports– with many penciling in the Huskers as an early national title contender. Good to see that Husker athletics, unlike Governor Pillen, know the value of keeping young talent in the state.


Upcoming Events– #HotDemSummer

If you are thinking about getting involved… do it! The Nebraska Democratic Party and our supporters will be walking in parades, waving rally signs, and showing support statewide.

Whether you want to voice your support, meet new Democrats in your community, or just get your steps in– we would LOVE to have you walk with us!

You can find the full list of events this summer here–we add new events all the time, so keep checking back and join us for a #HotDemSummer.


Thank you for reading!


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out at

All the best,

Jack Schiewe


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