Funding scholarships: A role for businesses, Union Leader Editorial, 3/23/12

posted Mar 23, 2012, 3:18 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Mar 23, 2012, 6:07 AM ]


The Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would help families find the right school for their children — provided it passes the inevitable court challenge.

Senate Bill 372 would allow businesses to take a tax credit for donations made to educational scholarship funds that help finance the cost of attendance at non-public schools.

It is a good idea, based on similar programs that work in other states. Not every child is well-served by district-run public schools. This bill would encourage the proliferation of scholarship funds to help families put their kids in schools that work for them.

The only caveat is that New Hampshire’s constitution expressly forbids direct funding of sectarian schools.

That should not be a problem, as the scholarship money goes to parents, not directly to schools. But courts might see it differently, and as the law is sure to be challenged if passed, seeking a Supreme Court advisory opinion would be a good precaution.