Note: Kate Baker, quoted in this article, is a political activist. She the National Coalition Director at Women for Ron Paul and associated in some way with the "Society of Libertarian Entrepreneurs." She is also associated with the Scholars' Academy, a school which has closed, and the Polaris Charter School, which is trying to get started. She was obviously introduced to the reporter by the bill sponsors.
By Associated Press
December 04, 2011 1:39 PM
CONCORD, N.H. — Powerful Republican lawmakers are getting behind legislation that would divert business taxes into private organizations to issue as scholarships to New Hampshire schoolchildren to attend private or religious schools.
House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt is co-sponsoring a House bill to make New Hampshire the ninth state to adopt a tax credit program. Supporters feel it may be easier than enacting vouchers that are issued by government in a state that traditionally has resisted such options.
Bettencourt's bill and an almost identical one sponsored in the Senate by Republican Jim Forysthe will be considered next year. Both bills would let nonprofit organizations collect and distribute scholarships averaging $2,500 per student. Families that home-school could apply for up to $1,500 to pay for books and materials. Forsythe estimates 6,000 children might receive scholarships.
In the program's first year, half the scholarships would have to be issued to public schoolchildren to encourage private and religious school attendance. Bettencourt, Forsythe and Republican state Rep. Gregory Hill, a co-sponsor of the House bill, argue that will reduce the state's cost since it would no longer have to provide state aid to the public schools for students who leave.
The choice of schools would be left to the parent. The three lawmakers say the goal is to provide options for parents and increase competition they believe will lead to improved public schools.
"If a parent thinks the best opportunity is another public school in the state, go for it," said Hill of Northfield.
....get the rest at the Portsmouth Herald web site.