Letter: No to SB 193

Sunday, December 31, 2017
No to SB 193

The first week in January, the N.H. Legislature votes to redirect the state portion of school taxes to a private scholarship fund, setting up a “freedom educational savings account” so that parents of means can apply for them. The bill diverts educational funds away from communities and increases local taxpayer costs to maintain the quality of their schools. Towns will be expected to make up any difference, without having any say.

This bill duplicates the efforts of public schools, which already use parent choice in planning for students; it additionally does not consider the importance of parent and community involvement, which provides opportunity for every student. School choice is already in place in ways that are not acknowledged in this bill.

Senate Bill 193 offers a consumer approach to education. Pick out the program you like, and they will give you roughly one-third of the cost toward it. Don’t like the private school? Try religious school. You can always go back to public school or can you?

Home schooling is under consideration. Certainly, those who do it would like to receive state funds. And so would taxpayers who pay hundreds of dollars a week for child-care. Parenting is expensive, any way you look at it.

N.H. towns don’t need a top-down business model of education. Our local democratic management works well. The choice offered here is really a means of un-funding a democratic institution. If you want to know more, Google fiscal funding and school vouchers, see what you find.

Say no to another layer of funding and administration where unintended consequences can arise. Sincere legislation would provide a bill that works for the good of all, like improved access to technology.

Keep local control: Tell your legislator to vote no to SB 193 on Jan. 3.