Letter: Oppose SB 193

Monday, January 01, 2018
Oppose SB 193

Senate Bill 193, an act establishing education freedom savings accounts for students, establishes a school voucher program in New Hampshire. SB 193 increases school choice for some students while reducing the funding available for public school programs that are established to serve all students.

SB 193 creates inequity. Implementing SB 193 will leave students with disabilities and other minority groups behind. A voucher system like this opens the door to creating a “class” system in education where only some students can access private schools while draining local public school resources and creating disparity. Students with disabilities are entitled to nothing when they are privately placed. They may or may not receive an “individual service plan,” which is dramatically different than having an IEP.

SB 193 will result in public schools losing essential financial resources. If you are a N.H. property-tax payer, you should be concerned. An independent analysis conservatively estimates it will cost N.H. taxpayers an additional $31 million in new spending in the first five years of implementation. It’s unlikely the N.H. Legislature in the next biennium budget is going to increase funding by millions for education and this expense may be downshifted to individual towns and property-tax payers.

If you have concerns, call your state representatives and ask them to vote against SB 193.