Families can't wait for School Choice Law court case

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) July 29, 2016, the Nevada Supreme Court will hear arguments on the lawsuit brought against the state's new School Choice Law.

The controversial bill passed by the 2015 legislature would allow parents to use $5,000 of state education fund money to enroll their children in private school, the money being deposited into a education savings account. That money, however, has been held up by an injunction as the case makes its way through the courts.

In the meantime, as the beginning of the school year approaches, Nevada families wanting to use it have had to make decisions without knowing the outcome. The Lund family has already made its decision.

Karrie Lund and her husband are determined that--one way or the other--her son, Wyatt and daughters Karen and Tayler will be attending Bishop Manogue High School this year.

Unhappy with the progress Wyatt was making, she pulled her kids out of public school in favor of online education a few years ago.

"He was reading at a first grade level and they wanted to push him on to fourth. And it was okay that he could barely add and barely read."

Learning online, she says, he "soared."

But wanting to give her kids the full high school experience she's settled on parochial Manogue as a place that will give them the environment to succeed.

"There isn't a single person in this building that doesn't believe that every single kid can't succeed."

The new law apparently has other families looking to follow their example.

"We've had at least 20 families who've have come to us and we're working very closely to prepare them for the decision on Friday whether it goes through or not," says Manogue Director of Communications and Marketing Amy Ventituolo.

The Lunds and others like them have a lot riding on that court case, but even with the $5,000 in state money, their decision carries a hefty price tag. Tuition at Manogue totals nearly $11 thousand per year per student.

"As of right now, after scholarships, after financial aid and after the $5,000 that my mom put down, my payments to the school are still more than my house payment," says Karrie Lund.

Wyatt is pulling weeds and mowing lawns to contribute. The two girls are working this summer in Wyoming to help pay their tuition.

"My daughter told me she didn't need a birthday--and her birthday is the 6th--and said 'Don't worry Mom. Just put it toward school."

So, in this family's case, it's a shared commitment and sacrifice, about which they obviously feel very strongly.

This case will be closely watched not only here in Nevada. This new law pushes the issue of school choice into new territory. Advocates in other states say they too have a stake in its outcome.