Today’s Portsmouth Herald has a great, respectful letter from Nancy Beach making the point that, when the Legislature makes a mistake as big as the voucher bill, they should not hesitate to correct it:
I’ve seen the back and forth about whether the education tax credit program passed last year should be repealed before it even gets started. And I get the point state Sen. Nancy Stiles made in her op-ed saying that it’s too soon and we should see how it works. But I think it is important to repeal the tax credit right away before children are depending on it, and put the money into charter schools instead.
We’ve got great schools like Cocheco Arts and Technology in Dover and Great Bay in Exeter, Seacoast in Kingston and new ones on the way. We have no need to get into the questionable business of funding religious schools, which is probably where most of the benefits of the tax credits would go in the end. Our public schools, including the charter schools, do a great job. And we can see what we’re getting for our money.
We don’t know what the private schools are doing and we won’t know any more in the future than we know now. What we do know is that each year the tax credit is in place, more children will depend on it and the political pressure to keep it in place will grow. But there is no need for it when charters already provide a good alternative for those who need one.
So, please, Sen. Stiles, reconsider your position on this and vote to end the tax credit program before it does its damage.