The headline about the voucher program has become the memo from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration correcting the “misinterpretation” of the voucher tax credit law by NEO, the only active scholarship organization authorized to raise and distribute money under the law. (There was never any real doubt about the meaning of the law.)
Here is NHPR’s take, reported by Sam Evans-Brown last night:
State To NEO: Give More Scholarships To Public School Students
The Department of Revenue Administration has released a memo clarifying the rules surrounding a controversial education tax credit scholarship. The memo makes clear that the state’s largest scholarship organization will have to change how it operates next year….
The Network for Educational Opportunity will have to give 70 percent of its scholarships to individual public school students. This year it’s giving 70 percent of the funds to just 13 public school students. That’s the lion’s share of the funds going to just 12.6 percent of scholarship recipients.
And in the Concord Monitor, Kathleen Ronayne reports this morning:
DRA statement reveals misinterpretation of education tax credit law
The ruling won’t change or take away scholarships awarded this year, but it will have a significant affect on the program going forward. This year, only 13 out of 103 students receiving scholarships transferred from public to private schools. The NEO gave out about $128,000 in scholarships, meaning roughly $90,000 was split between those 13 students. Some of the largest scholarships include $12,000 between two students to attend Liberty Harbor Academy in Manchester, $6,000 to another to attend Proctor Academy in Andover and $12,000 for one student to go to Tilton Academy.
The other 90 students – home schoolers and students already in private schools – got the remaining money, and therefore much smaller scholarships. Scholarships for home-schooled students averaged $215, which goes toward the purchase of books and materials.