Here is the SB193 2017-2523h that the House Education Committee will vote on (though amendments are possible during the committee meeting) in its Tuesday, November 14 meeting at 10:00 AM in LOB 206-208. Committee members have made a number of changes over the past week but they still have a tangled bill that does not fund an adequate education for New Hampshire students.
No accountability or meaningful measurement of educational results
SB 193 projects an image of accountability but there is no reality behind it. Any “nationally recognized standardized assessment” can be used to measure “achievement and growth.” As difficult as those are to measure, as arguable as any conclusions will be, and as low a bar as the bill sets for achievement, there is still no meaningful impact if the student is not progressing. Our critique of the previous version of the bill still applies.
No control over the expenditure of funds
As Reaching Higher NH pointed out in a new analysis today, the lack of expenditure controls in an Arizona program like this one – a program with much better controls than SB 193 provides – led to significant abuse.
Written by and for one anti-public education organization
The only group that qualifies as a potential “scholarship organization” will be the Children’s Scholarship Fund, a national organization that asserts that vouchers are needed to get students out of failed public schools and into private schools that do much better. This is the same group that failed to generate public support for the 2012 voucher program.
Pays for unqualified people to provide education services
The bill lists the artifacts to be considered what reviewing qualifications but defines no actual qualifications for tutors who can be paid with state funds. And there is no provision for actually reviewing those qualifications. As a result, non-school schools like BigFish in Dover could open with unqualified staff throughout the State, fed by voucher funds. There is no meaningful limit on the level of voucher funding available homeschoolers could pay such groups.