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Reaching Higher NH: The voucher bill going to the House floor Thursday could cost millions in new state spending

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As everyone knows, the Senate has sent HB 1636 back to the House amended to include the version of SB 193 passed by the Senate in March of 2017.  Here is our overview of the voucher provisions of the bill.

The Senate amendment to HB 1636 is widely considered a placeholder for more work to be done on the bill in a committee of conference.  However, some supporters prefer this swing-for-the-fences voucher program the subsequent versions that incorporated some limitations in response to a flood of criticism.  And the whole Legislature seems to have become impatient and cranky, just worn out by the Governor’s over-the-top pressure to pass something salable nationally as a school choice win.  So there’s no telling where all this will lead.

It’s in that context that Reaching Higher NH provides the only available analysis of the potential financial impact of HB 1636, saying,

The financial implications of the Senate version are significantly different from what had been discussed with the House bill, which was killed last week.

Late last Thursday in the State Legislature, after the House killed SB 193, the statewide voucher bill by sending it to interim study, the Senate revived the voucher bill by attaching it as an amendment to an unrelated bill, HB 1636 (legislation that dealt with teacher preparation programs, charter school facilities, and death benefits for school employees killed in the line of duty). The new bill, HB 1636, will most likely be up for a vote by the House on Thursday May 10….

The Senate version up for consideration on May 10 has no caps on the number of eligible students who can take the voucher, provides no grants to school districts, and has much more limited accountability requirements. As a result, the financial implications of the Senate version are significantly different from what had been discussed with the House bill…..

The report goes on to present its analysis in detail.  Read it here.


2 Comments

  1. NH needs to stay in the pursuit of wisdom for all citizens – not worrying about what will result if our present school budgets will be yet divided by the wealthy who can pay for that education they feel they need.

  2. New Hampshire citizens need the best education for all of us. The wealthy do not need help funding their own educations.

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