Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Senate Bill 193, currently being considered by the New Hampshire House, would provide public funds for education savings accounts granted to select students to help pay for private school. The program would be funded by money taken from the public schools that those students leave.
The apparent appeal of this program is that it would give some parents choices about where to send their children to school. Unfortunately, this would come at the expense of the majority of students who would remain in a school then deprived of the funds going to private schools.
Laconia stands to be especially hard hit by this program. Eligibility to receive these grants would be based on students’ eligibility to receive free or reduced-price school lunch, and half of Laconia students would qualify.
In the first year of implementing this program, Laconia could lose enough state funding to pay for two or three teachers. Or art, music or sports – always the first to go and, incidentally, opportunities that students often look for in private schools. Or local property tax payers would have to make up the difference.
Wouldn’t it be better to use those funds to keep our teachers and improve choices in the public schools for all students?
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