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Mary Wilke in the Concord Monitor: Fair education funding will solve ‘ZIP code problem’

In her oped for today’s Concord Monitor, Mary Wilke points out that voucher proposals, viewed alongside other education funding proposals, do not hold up to scrutiny.

John Adams said, “There should not be a district of one mile square without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”

If you agree with our Founding Fathers that a vibrant democracy depends on a strong public education system, then please take notice: Our public schools are under attack. Gov. Chris Sununu, Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and their legislative allies are gearing up to ram another school voucher bill through the next legislative session.

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Do we have the education leadership we need in New Hampshire?

What do you do with a Commissioner who talks about our schools only in terms of failure and whose education strategy for the future is private school vouchers?

Leading a large education system is a complex undertaking. It takes real…well…leadership. Is there another Commissioner in the country with such a rhetoric of failure? An education leader would normally convene parents and educators seeking engagement around a vision for what is possible. If math achievement is low, what’s our strategy? If our schools could do more to reach students with special needs, how do we support their efforts to do that? (more…)

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has decided nothing about the voucher tax credit program. Why not use that money for a real public purpose?

Here’s my opinion piece on the voucher program as it has appeared in the Concord Monitor, the Portsmouth Herald, the Union Leader and (upcoming) the New Hampshire Business Review.

Before the misunderstanding spreads too far, it is important to point out what the recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision actually said about the constitutionality of the voucher tax credit law:

Nothing.   (more…)

Commentary on the Supreme Court’s voucher ruling runs negative

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs did not have the standing to sue, so did not address the underlying constitutional issue of state funding to religious education.  Editorial opinion so far does not support the court: (more…)

Governor Hassan calls for repeal of the voucher tax credit law

Repeal of the voucher tax credit failed in the Senate last year, but the push will be on to repeal it in the next session.   (more…)

Statement on the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision on the voucher tax credit progam

We, the plaintiffs, want to thank our attorneys, the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State for their committed work on this very important case to settle the question of whether New Hampshire’s recently passed voucher tax credit program conformed with the requirements of the New Hampshire Constitution.

While we challenged several provisions of the law, the central question was whether our constitutional prohibition against using state funds for religious instruction, even if that funding was provided indirectly in the form of tax credits to businesses who contributed to the program.

Bill Duncan said, “I am deeply disappointed by the decision, especially the fact that it was not decided on the merits.  This decision on standing disenfranchises taxpayers, parents and students throughout the state.  There may be other ways to challenge the voucher tax credit program in the future.  School districts harmed by the program could bring suit or a future legislature could repeal it. “

New Hampshire Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the voucher tax credit program to be handed down Aug. 28 at 9:00AM

The decision will appear here on the Supreme Court decision page.

Gilles Bissonnette, NHCLU, straightens Bobby Jindal out about the consitutionality of private school vouchers in NH

Bobby Jindal thinks New Hampshire presidential primary voters should know what he thinks about whether private school vouchers are constitutional in New Hampshire. (more…)

NH Supreme Court hears the voucher tax credit case

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard the voucher tax credit case yesterday.  Both sides stated their cases clearly and concisely.  The justices had many pointed questions and Chief Justice Linda Dalianis complimented the legal teams for the quality of their briefs on this legally complex case.  Here is the video of the hearing.

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Oral arguments set for April 16 in the voucher tax credit case

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has set 9:30, April 16 as the date for oral arguments in the voucher tax credit case.  The hearing will take place at One Charles Doe Drive, Concord, NH 03301.

Each side will have 15 minutes to argue its case.