podcastED: SUFS president Doug Tuthill interviews Nebraska state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan on ‘cornhusker choice’

redefinED staff

On this episode, Tuthill talks with the Nebraska lawmaker who has for many years championed for a tax credit scholarship in her state. While the bill did not win approval this session, Linehan believes there is more grassroots and political support than ever – and that expansion of education choice in Nebraska is only a matter of time.

The two discuss the challenges in Nebraska that make expanding choice difficult, including open enrollment rules, an overreliance on funding schools through property taxes, and the power of rural school districts. They also discuss the influence of the state’s teacher unions and political retribution that comes to those who support choice policies.

“The longer it takes, the more I’m absolutely going to fight until the very end. I am excited because when I first got here, no one wanted to talk to me about it … they were afraid to even speak (about education choice). And now we’re very close to a win here.”

EPISODE DETAILS:

·       Linehan’s struggle to learn to read as a child and her son’s similar experience, which led her to become an advocate for education choice

·       Legislative Bill 364, introduced by Linehan and others, and how close it came to passing this legislative session

·       Nebraska’s growing achievement gap between white students and students of color

·       How national advocacy groups such as  American Federation for Children are building support for education choice in states like Nebraska

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