When you hear advocates defend vouchers as a cheaper alternative to public schools, what you are really hearing is an argument for replacing public schools with unaccountable, private, mostly religious, schools on the rational that sending our children there is cheaper then educating them in our public school system. You heard it again in response to the Governor’s budget (highlight added):
Governor Hassan took aim at the controversial education tax credit plan, which will give out $3.4 million dollars’ worth of scholarships in the next school year.
Hassan: “To help pay for these investments, this budget repeals the voucher tax credit that would have diverted millions of dollars in taxpayer money to private and religious schools with no accountability.”
Supporters of that program disagree.
Baker: “Nationally these programs are shown to save money, and significant amounts of money in the long run.”
Kate Baker with the Network For Education notes that yes, the state loses an average of $2,500 dollars in tax revenue per scholarship, but every student that leaves public schools for private ones is a student that public schools aren’t paying to educate.
The fiscal impacts of the tax credit aren’t yet completely clear: what is is that Republicans will fight this change.
“Aren’t paying to educate” is an argument for, over time, dismantling public schools and replacing them with vouchers for schools that state their purposes this way:
- At Community Bible Academy in Berlin, “[a]ll subject matter is presented in light of the Scripture with a Biblical view of God and guiding principles to equip the student for life.”
- The “purpose” of Calvary Christian School in Plymouth is “to provide Christian education by integrating Biblical principles throughout the curriculum.”
- Dublin Christian Academy promulgates a “Statement of Faith” that professes that “the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively”; that “all animal and plant life were made directly by God in six literal, twenty-four hour periods”; and that “any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.” This Statement of Faith also condemns all forms of abortion, including for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.