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Help poor kids? NH public charters are better than vouchers for religious schools teaching Creationism (letter to the Portsmouth Herald from Gail Mitchell)

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Gail Mitchell makes the point that if we want to help poor kids, we’ve got much better ways than vouchers.

Feb. 27 — To the Editor:

The voucher tax credit passed in the last Legislature would take money away from our public schools and send it to private, religious and home schools with no accountability to the public.

I applaud the goal of improving school choice for low-income families. But we already have much better alternatives to vouchers — charter schools.

We have 17 charter schools in New Hampshire and will soon have more. They are public schools and our state Board of Education and Department of Education oversee the quality. They provide a great way to reach children that might not do well in traditional public schools. We even have an online charter school, VLACS, that can supplement regular coursework or provide a full-time curriculum. All of this is free to every New Hampshire child.

Voucher schools, on the other hand, are not accredited by the state. They are not accountable to the taxpayers for the quality of their instruction. Do we want to pay to teach our children that dinosaurs and people walked the earth at the same time? The voucher tax credit program could pay for that! So keep our public schools funded as they are, with the oversight being the taxpayers and the Board of Education. I prefer to have government oversight and state regulations that have kept the high standards of education that New Hampshire children deserve.

Gail Mitchell

Barrington


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