Reaching Higher NH has released its initial analysis of the new proposed amendment to SB 193, the voucher bill:
The House Finance subcommittee has released an amendment to SB 193, the bill that would create a statewide voucher bill, on Wednesday. According to an analysis by Reaching Higher NH, school districts could lose between $2.4 million and $6.3 million in the first year, with the highest losses concentrated in the state’s largest districts, including Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, Laconia, and Claremont.
The amended version removes the stabilization grants that would have protected districts from some of the financial impacts of the vouchers, changes the eligibility requirements, places enrollment caps on the number of students who can receive a voucher, and makes changes to the way schools, parents, and students are held accountable for the state-funded savings account.
Under the amendment:
- School districts could lose between $2.4 million and $6.3 million in state aid in year 1;
- The state could incur new costs (adjustment grants) of between $900,000 and $2.4 million in year 1;
- The private scholarship organization could receive between $110,000 and $290,000 of public dollars in year 1; and,
- Financial impacts of the new amendment would likely be most challenging for some of NH’s largest and least affluent districts.Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, Laconia, and Claremont are each projected to lose between $95,000 and $850,000, annually should the maximum number of students allowable participate.
According to the analysis, more than 20 districts could lose more than $40,000 in state aid in the first year if the districts see maximum student participation in the voucher program. Find the full list of year 1 here.
The analysis considers three important changes to the bill: eligibility, participation caps, and the removal of stabilization grants.