'Politicians betrayed students, taxpayers'

Last modified: 5/20/2012 12:00:00 AM
I do not believe the citizens of New Hampshire want their public tax dollars going to pay for private, religious and home schools. They will hold those representatives and senators who voted for such a betrayal of their fiduciary responsibilities and the public trust accountable at the ballot box this November.

I do not believe New Hampshire taxpayers want tax dollars rightfully owed to the state diverted, uncollected, written off and given to non-public institutions when we are struggling to fund our most basic obligations as a state. When the citizens of New Hampshire realize public tax dollars are being funneled to home schools, private schools and religious schools with no reporting as to how that public money is being spent, nor accountability on the quality of education or the credentials and backgrounds of those in charge of our young children, they will be outraged.

To claim that the $2,500 voucher available in Senate Bill 372 and House Bill 1607 opens the doors to every educational opportunity in the state is misleading and dishonest. While families of means may indeed be able to select any school of their choosing, be it private, public or parochial, $2,500 a year will do nothing to help less fortunate families afford even a semester at such places.

The promise of quality public education is only as good as those entrusted to keep it. Today, with the passage of SB 372 and HB 1607, public school students, educators, parents and taxpayers were let down by politicians seeking to break that promise.



(The writer is president of the state chapter of the National Education Association.)

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