letter: A misuse of taxpayer money

Saturday, January 13, 2018
A misuse of taxpayer money

As a taxpayer I am outraged at the House’s recent passage of Senate Bill 193. While this legislation is being couched as a “school choice” bill, in reality it is a determined effort to undermine public education. SB 193 will divert public tax dollars to private and religious schools. The funding for “education savings accounts” – school vouchers by another name – will come directly from the state’s Education Trust Fund, resulting in fewer dollars available to local school districts. The impact of this legislation will be increased local property taxes, a financial hit that will disproportionately impact New Hampshire seniors and low- and middle-income families.

Providing adequate support for public schools is critical to the economic and social well being of our state and local communities. Public education is, in fact, the very keystone of our democracy. Those who prefer to enroll their children in a private institution or religious school certainly have every right to do so, but not at the public’s expense. We would never allow the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation to use taxpayer dollars to pay for memberships at private country clubs. I fail to see how using taxpayers’ money to pay private school tuition is any different.

This bill will come before the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Please let Finance Committee members know that this bill is bad for New Hampshire. You can email committee members at HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.