80% of Network for Educational Opportunity scholarship applicants intend to attend religious schools
Documents submitted by the Network for Educational Opportunity (here, revised here, and summarized here) show that 80% of the children applying for scholarships intend to attend religious schools. Almost all of the remaining children plan to apply to a single secular school, the Monadnock Waldorf School. Eighty percent of the 24 schools participating so far are religious schools.
NEO has conceded that the revised numbers it has submitted to the court are incorrect and the organization may submit corrected numbers.
There is a new scholarship organization
The New Hampshire Department of Revenue has approved the “Concord Christian Academy Giving and Going Alliance” as a scholarship organization. Here is some information about the Concord Christian Academy. The voucher tax credit law stipulates that a scholarship organization cannot be dedicated to one school, raising money for and giving tuition subsidies to one school. But there is nothing to prevent a scholarship organization from dedicating its fundraising to two schools. Grace Christian School joined the Concord Christian Academy in submitting an amicus brief in Duncan vs. the State of New Hampshire, the court case challenging the constitutionality of the tax credit, so Grace is a likely candidate as the second school. Here is more about Grace, a small non accredited Christian school in Bedford.
The voucher tax credit used in this dedicated way functions essentially as if the State of New Hampshire were paying the schools directly to teach their Creationist curricula as part of every lesson every day.
Total tax credits allocated to businesses has decreased by $15,000
According to documents filed by the Attorney General in the court case Duncan vs. the State of New Hampshire, 18 businesses have been approved for a total of $128,392.30 in tax credits. In some cases, however, the businesses have not made the scholarship contribution within the required 60 days so, according to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue, $114,264.80 remained allocated to businesses by April 11.
In other words, business’s already limited use of the tax credit program has reduced by another $15,000 over the past two weeks.
Then if businesses renege?
It’s not really a matter of reneging. When a business applies for a tax credit, it is really saying, “I would like to reserve this amount of the total available tax credit so I know it will be available to me if I make a donation to a scholarship organization.” But then, many more steps must happen before the business actually gets the tax credit, the first of which is to make a donation within 60 days. There could be any number of reasons not to make the donation after looking further into the program.
Supposedly these “scholarships” are for children in poor families. I wonder how they will pay the difference between the scholarship and the actual cost of tuition and fees at the private or parochial schools they might attend? Or is this a program to use taxpayer money to help advantaged families put their children in such schools?