A battle is shaping up over the recently passed Opportunity Scholarships Act, with the Nebraska State Education Association on one side, and supporters of the legislation on the other, including the bill’s sponsor.
During commentary on the legislative floor Thursday, Sen. Lou Ann Linehan laid into the NSEA for their news release after passage of LB 753, saying it contained five statements that she wanted to call disinformation, but were actually lies.
The Elkhorn lawmaker said the statements left her frustrated, including the claim it would lead to funding cuts that would hurt kids and public schools. “It’s disturbing, folks. These (people) represent educators, and I don’t pick on public schools, I praised public schools yesterday (during final bill debate). All my grandchildren are in public schools,” said Linehan, “But when educators are represented by a bunch of people who are very, very loose with facts, and actually lie, it’s not okay.”
Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard spoke in support of the bill and Linehan, saying her leadership was a key in securing an additional $300 million per year in state funding for public schools in the upcoming budget, and he didn’t understand why the organization tries to poke people in the eye who try to help them.
The NSEA’s statement said it will be working with Support Our Schools Nebraska, which will soon launch a referendum petition drive to put the issue on the November 2024 General Election ballot.