Advancing New Hampshire Public Education
Lack of interest from public school families and from business results in a small voucher program
Portsmouth, NH – According to a New Hampshire Department of Education response to a right-to-know request from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a July 15, 2013 report on the voucher program says that no more than 15 public school students will receive scholarships in the first year of the program. Since 70% of the scholarships must go to public school students, by ANHPE calculation, the maximum number of students receiving scholarships this year will be 21.
The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has allocated less than $200,000 of the $3.4 million in voucher tax credits authorized for this year but, with a maximum of 21 students, the program will use significantly less of that tax credit authority. Also, the Strafford County Superior Court has ruled that the program’s planned funding of religious schools is unconstitutional so only secular schools can participate. And there are questions about program administration.
An expanded discussion of the issues faced by the program in light of the report is here.
In response to the report, Bill Duncan, of Advancing New Hampshire Public Education, said, “The lack of interest from public school families comes on the heals of the adverse court decision and the failure to gain business support. The only active scholarship organization does not have the capacity to administer the program. The voucher program is an embarrassment to the Republican legislative majority that passed the bill last year over the Governor’s veto. Current senate Republicans who have refused to consider repeal are now tarnished by this embarrassing program. They should put the voucher program out of its misery.”
Advancing New Hampshire Public Education is a group of parents, teachers and voters advocating for New Hampshire public schools.
- New Hampshire judge rules that tax credit program violates state constitution (lawprofessors.typepad.com)