Upper Valley school board chairs: SB 193 would continue trend of underfunding its public school obligations


Chairmen and chairwomen from four Upper Valley school boards united to submit this letter to the Valley News:

The New Hampshire Legislature is currently considering a bill that would allow the use of taxpayer money to fund private schooling. Senate Bill 193 provides that if a student withdraws from public school, that student is eligible to receive a “scholarship” equal to 90 percent of the state adequacy aid grant the school district would otherwise receive.

If passed, this bill would continue a disturbing trend of New Hampshire underfunding its public school obligations. Public schools must, by law, accommodate all comers — including those with disabilities of various types. And public schools, rightly so, are held accountable with respect to standards. Private schools have no such obligations. To siphon public monies into private schools is to push up per-pupil spending in public schools through adverse cost selection, while simultaneously publicly funding private programs whose quality may be questionable and are not held to account by the taxpayers who fund them.

While many people provided testimony in opposition to this bill to the House Education Committee, the status of SB 193 is still uncertain. If you care about the future of public schools in New Hampshire, if you care about your community and if you care about your students, please consider contacting your legislators. Let them know that you oppose SB 193.

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