Hampstead joined the growing list of school officials who oppose SB 193, which creates a statewide voucher system, according to the Eagle Tribune:
Hampstead has joined several New Hampshire school districts in opposing a bill that would allow parents to use state money to pay for educational opportunities outside of public schooling.
In a letter addressed to the New Hampshire General Court dated Dec. 20, Hampstead school officials listed reasons why they believe the bill should be rejected.
The list includes the following: The bill would “disproportionately harm property-poor municipalities, eliminate protections for students with disabilities, adversely impact educational quality of public schools, do nothing to address the multiyear decline in state funding for local school districts and allow for public funds to pay for religious schools.”
The board said they find the bill “wholly lacking as a legislative solution for New Hampshire families.”
School boards in Hampton and Dover have also voted to oppose the bill. They’re in agreement with Hampstead that the cost to individual districts would be significant.
Hampstead School Board Vice Chairman Jason Cipriano wrote in the letter to the Senate that, “The total loss to a district has the potential to exceed $9,000 per pupil by some estimates. In Hampstead, the loss of just five students at this amount would exceed the cost of a teacher.”
Cipriano’s board is worried about the bill’s ability to destabilize what has been steady enrollment in the district.
“The loss of state aid, combined with level (or increasing) fixed costs will result in decreased educational quality,” Cipriano wrote. “As elected officials, we should be focused on improving public education, not abandoning it.”