Kate Baker: A scholarship offers hope and a new path

From the Union Leader

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Children’s Scholarship Fund Executive Director Kate Baker wrote a piece for the Union Leader about the Fund. Here’s an excerpt:

In a recent Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) survey, 82 percent of CSF parents in New Hampshire said they saw measurable improvement in their child’s academic achievement since receiving their scholarship.

And 83 percent of parents reported much higher satisfaction rates with their child’s current school compared with the school they attended before they got a scholarship.

Some might question the need for scholarships.

Aren’t there enough choices within the public school system, including charter schools, magnets, and even online schools?

It’s certainly true that New Hampshire has many good educational options, but when it comes to education, one size does not fit all, and a school that works for one child may not be the best fit for another.

There are many reasons why parents might seek educational alternatives for their children.

They could be looking for a more challenging curriculum for a gifted child, more individual attention for a child who’s struggling, a safer environment, or one more closely aligned with their values. Whatever the reason, for families interested in private schools or homeschooling, Children’s Scholarship Fund scholarships can bridge the gap and give parents the extra support they need to provide their child with an education they otherwise could not afford.

Scholarships are partial, so families must still pay some portion of tuition, calculated on a sliding scale, taking income and family size into consideration.

New Hampshire parents like Kelly have definitely proved they want the options a scholarship can provide. This school year, we received close to 700 applications, but we could only afford to fund scholarships for 122 children statewide. We already have more than 800 applications for the 2017-18 academic year.

The scholarship program is funded by the education tax credit. The program allows New Hampshire businesses to receive tax credits for donations to one of two scholarship organizations that would then provide scholarships to students. Read our policy brief on the program here.

Source: Another View — Kate Baker: A scholarship offers hope and a new path | Union Leader