LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Republican Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo announced a short-term solution after lawmakers rejected his request to use federal COVID relief funds for Opportunity Scholarships.

The Interim Finance Committee rejected Governor Lombardo’s proposal to use more than $3 million in federal COVID relief funds for Opportunity Scholarships Wednesday night.

The Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus said in a statement Wednesday, “Lombardo’s staff could not explain why $18 million in available reserve funding in the Opportunity Scholarship private school voucher program was not being used to cover an alleged $3 million shortfall in the program.”

Lombardo released a statement Wednesday evening saying in part, “Democrats turned their backs on hundreds of low-income students that our traditional school system has failed or left behind.”

Friday evening, Lombardo’s office announced that at the request of the governor, the AAA Scholarship Foundation will use reserve funds to “ensure that no students who qualify under Nevada law lose access to their scholarship,” Lombardo’s office said.

Lombardo’s office said that while the funding alleviates the problem for now, hundreds of students will be at risk of losing their scholarships next school year due to the simultaneous reduction in funding from the prior biennium and depletion of reserves.

“I’m grateful to AAA Scholarship Foundation for their eagerness to create a short-term solution for this crisis. Together, we will be able to ensure that no student currently receiving an Opportunity Scholarship will be removed from their chosen school this school year,” Governor Lombardo said. “However, unless legislative Democrats work with us on a long-term solution, children will be forced out of their schools and back into the very schools that failed to meet their unique educational needs.”

“AAA Scholarship Foundation is pleased to be a part of a solution for ensuring no child loses their scholarship for the upcoming school year,” Kim Dyson, President and CEO of AAA Scholarship Foundation said. “We’re grateful for Governor Lombardo’s vision, leadership, and staunch advocacy for these children, and we look forward to working with legislators from both parties on a long-term solution for the scholarship program.”

In order to obtain a scholarship for the upcoming school year, eligible parents must apply with AAA Scholarship Foundation directly. For families at risk of losing their Opportunity Scholarship, click here for the application.

The deadline to apply is Monday, Sept. 11.