Monday, May 21, 2012
Thanks to state legislators, New Hampshire parents will now have options when making decisions about their children's education.
By wide margins, both the House and Senate in The Granite State have passed bills (HB 1607 and SB 372) creating an education tax credit and a student scholarship program. Bill Duncan, leader of Defending New Hampshire Public Education, has argued that such measures will hurt public schools. But according to Jeff Reed of The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
, such claims are unfounded.
"Research done on the effects school-choice programs have had on public schools shows that public schools improve as a result of school-choice programs," he says.
Though it could take years, he is encouraging proponents of school choice in other states to persevere.
"When you dedicate your cause to empowering parents and empowering students, you don't know how long it could take," Reed admits, "but you will get there eventually, and families desperately need it."
He notes that it took eight years for New Hampshire's legislation to finally pass. Now students can receive an average of $2,500 a year if they want to attend private school or a public school outside their district, and home-schooled students can receive up to $650 in annual scholarship money. The Nashua Telegraph reports
that businesses will fund the scholarships and receive an 85 percent tax credit in return.