Here’s a letter to the Laconia Daily Sun, a great 50,000 foot analysis of SB 193 that needs no introduction:
New Hampshire Senate Bill 193 is the “Education Freedom Savings Account.” Whoever created that name must work for an ad agency. Sounds so patriotic and rooted in “American values” — almost brings a tear to the eye, doesn’t it? “Choice!” they say. Parents have the right to choose what is best for their child! Well, yes, but if this bill passes, only some parents will get to choose and only at a cost to the rest of the children and their communities.
This so-called school voucher bill (actually an education savings account or ESA) would divert public funds to private, often unregulated schools and create a segregated school system. And our public education system will pay, by having even fewer resources and, in turn, be accused of “failing,” when our representatives are the ones who keep delivering the blows.
There are now multiple versions of SB-193 with varying pools of eligible students and varying costs to the state and towns as the bill makes its way through the process. However, what remains clear is that property taxes will rise, public monies will go to private schooling, with no accountability in place and no assessment of learning outcomes. The experience in other states that have adopted ESA’s is not encouraging. In addition to downshifting private school costs to local taxpayers, there is the persistent question about public funds going to schools that can discriminate as to who they accept.
If SB-193 passes, in whatever form, our communities will get either higher taxes or a reduction in services and programs offered by our public schools. Some choice!
Please talk to your representatives and then see how they vote. If your current elected officials are not representing what is best for all of our children and our communities, please be sure to vote for an alternative in November.