Mr. Lombardi touches on many important points here:
I have always supported the concept of public schools and object to the voucher program because it begins a process of taking tax dollars intended for public education and redirecting them to private and religious schools. I suppose one could argue that these are not tax dollars because the money is “donated” by businesses, however that “donation” has a real dollar value in the tax credits given back to the businesses. So the net impact is a reduction of tax money available for public education.
I don’t think it is proper for these manipulated tax dollars to be transferred to religious schools. The ACLU is challenging the law in court on the basis that state Constitution specifically provides that “no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any sect or denomination” and that “no money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of the schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination.”
My understanding is that the single organization identified to implement the program is a California group that actually says its purpose is to shut down public schools. My guess is that they provided the language for the legislation, lobbied for it and look to benefit from it.
If this is the goal, then we are looking at a program that is supported by our tax dollars that defies the New Hampshire Constitution and provides no public oversight of the quality of the product. Is this really a good idea?
How did we get into this?
I doubt that most legislators realized that the education tax credit would become such a mess. But there is an opportunity to fix it before it does real damage. Voucher repeal has passed the House and is awaiting Senate action. Nancy Stiles and all Republican senators should join Senate Democrats and oppose this misguided agenda by voting to repeal the voucher tax credit. Sen. Stiles, you voted against this idea originally. Why would you flip-flop on this now? Please respect you constituents and vote for us and not this out-of—state agenda.