Union Leader: Empowering parents: School choice for all NH students

The Union Leader Editorial Board supported SB 193 in this editorial:

If, as the New Hampshire Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted, the Legislature has a constitutional duty to provide the opportunity for all school-aged students to receive an adequate education, to whom does that duty belong?

Surely, it belongs to the children to be educated? And are not their parents best suited to judge where and how that opportunity can be taken?

That’s the premise behind a bill that would fundamentally transform education funding in New Hampshire. SB 193 would establish Education Freedom Savings Accounts for New Hampshire students whose parents choose a school other their local public school.

Several states have opened up their school funding programs in this manner in limited ways, such as to disabled students or those in low-performing school districts. Nevada started offering education savings accounts to all parents two years ago.

Nevada lawmakers are revamping the program after the state’s supreme court found that the funding mechanism was unconstitutional. But the concept is legally sound.

Critics, led by teachers’ unions, worry about taking money away from public schools. But local school districts have no claim on state education aid for students they don’t educate.

Giving parents authority over the state aid dedicated to their children would unleash competition in education. Let’s give low- and middle-income parents the same choices that rich families have always had.

Read the full editorial here.