Reaching Higher NH has presented persuasive and detailed data projecting that ESA grants should not be expected to be evenly used across the State and that property poor communities to be impacted the most.
Data from the 2012 voucher program funded by tax credits (ETC program) bears that out. (more…)
Advocates on both side of the voucher issue laid out their basic financial cases yesterday before the House Finance Committee. This is just the opening salvo as the committee begins its analysis of the bill but it included unrealistic assertions by proponents that few children would actually use the generous vouchers and there would be enough extra money in the General Fund to cover any costs there might be. (Here is our assessment, “Virtually every student in New Hampshire could be eligible for a grant from the SB 193 voucher program.”)
Virtually every student in New Hampshire could be eligible for a grant from the SB 193 voucher program
At yesterday’s Finance Committee hearing on SB 193, advocates for the bill continued to quote the requirement that students’ families earn no more than 300% of poverty, or $73,600 for a family of four, as the key determinant of student eligibility for large ESA grants. However, the criteria listed on page 1 of the bill make clear that eligibility is, in fact, unlimited. Here are all the pathways the bill provides into the voucher program: (more…)
The House supported SB 193, passed by the Senate last year but changed substantially by the House Education Committee, leading to the 1 84-164 vote on January 3rd. The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee, which has scheduled its public hearing for January 16 at 1:30 in room 210-211 of the Legislative Office Building (right behind the State House). (more…)
Here is the roll call on SB 193, sorted by last name of the House member. Below, the vote is presented sorted by Yeahs and Nays and below that, by party. (more…)
We will provide the vote breakdown as soon as possible.
And here is the House Calendar, so you can see where they are in the agenda. SB 193 is on page 19, the beginning of “Regular Calendar Part Two,” which means that it would have been scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, January 4th). That session has been postponed in anticipation of the storm. Stay tuned for further updates.
Mary Wilke, retired Concord Educator, analyses what New Hampshire tax money would actually be paying for if SB 193 passed.
Leave aside for a moment the constitutionality of using state money for religious education. The immediate question for legislators is whether their constituents would find it acceptable to fund the curriculum offered by New Hampshire’s sectarian schools.
If the current version of Senate Bill 193 becomes law, many children will use vouchers to attend religious schools, and taxpayers will pay for the teaching of religious and political ideology that may violate their own beliefs. For instance, a number of New Hampshire religious schools use the Abeka curriculum, from Pensacola Christian College, widely used by Christian schools and home-schoolers.
UNH education professor Joe Ononsco lays out the fundamental case against vouchers in the Concord Monitor:
Senate Bill 193 is an education voucher program that received much criticism during the 2017 legislative session, and rightly so. As originally written, it allocated potentially enormous sums of public taxpayer money (from $3,600 to $7,500 per student) for parents to send their children to elite private schools and religious schools, and to fund the efforts of home school parents, some of whom are zealous religious fundamentalists.