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New Hampshire’s charter school budget is growing fast

HB 435 and the other pending charter bills represent a significant increase in New Hampshire’s already escalating charter school expenditures.

Charter enrollment and expenditures are growing quickly

Here’s a chart showing enrollment and expenditures since 2007, projected out to 2019.  Enrollment is projected at current growth rates.  Expenditures are projected based on HB 435.

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Charter school enrollment in New Hampshire has been doubling every three years.  In 2009, leaving aside the Virtual Learning Charter School (VLACS), we had 585 charter students in New Hampshire, most in charters aimed at helping at-risk children.  This school year, we have about 1,977 charter students, the great majority of whom attend high end charters.  Next year, NHDOE estimates that enrollment will be 2,884.  None of the four new charters starting up next September or the 10 charters in the application pipeline will focus on at-risk students.

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Rep. Ken Weyler introduces more charter school bills to the NH House Education Committee

Rep. Weyler (R-Kingston) had two charter bills before the House Education Committee last week.  HB 1392 repeals  RSA 194-B:3-a, V(c), which says,

“Not more than 10 percent of the resident pupils in any grade shall be eligible to transfer to a chartered public school in any school year without the approval of the local school board.”

And HB 1393 requires school districts to pay charter schools a portion of the tuition under certain circumstances.

Taken together, the two bills promote accelerated growth of charter enrollments by enabling large scale replacement of district schools by charter schools as seen in recent years in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities.

Here is Rep. Weyler’s testimony about HB 1392.  He does not really give a reason for wanting to remove the 10% limit on annual transfers.  He does make a couple of points, though.

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