NH House considers School of Choice Bill HB1607 & SB 372, Salem Patch, 1/23/12

posted Jan 24, 2012, 7:12 AM by Bill Duncan

According to the Eagle Tribune the N.H. House will be considering School of Choice HB 1607 & SB 372 today and tomorrow.

In essence this bill will provide $2,500 (for each child if you happen to have more than one) to those students that attend Private schools in New Hampshire. Upon reading the bill I was shocked that it actually states the money would go to children that attend Independent schools in New Hampshire.

The bill further states that children that are home schooled would be included in this program. The reasoning is to help out with the high cost of these private schools and to cover the cost of books, lesson plans and so on. To qualify the child must be between ages of five and 18, and haven’t graduated from high school yet.  According to the N.H. Department of Education they will lose $15 million out of the FY 2013 budget to pay for this program. So as I read the bill I had more questions than answers so I have sent to a few of them to our State Reps and I suggest you all do the same. 

1. Would the students at Pinkerton Academy get this because isn't that a private school hired by the town to education their children?

2. I see Rep. Bates is a sponsor of this bill, this bill would include those children that are home schooled. I believe his children and possibly children of other sponsors fall into this same category. Wouldn't this be a conflict of interest?

3. The bill says its to pay for tuition, training material, books and lesson plans... Don't home school children already have access to those items through the public school system for free? What's stopping these kids from attending public schools?

4. What's the estimated cost of this program over the next three years, per student, per year.

5. If you're willing to vote for this, let's face it, this is not a scholarship. It a tax credit for those parents that choose on their own free will not to send their kids to public schools. I and many other parents don't have children in public schools so what kind of tax credit are we going to get?

6. Can someone explain to me how the State will save money under this?

7.  If you plan on voting in favor of this, could you please send us a note with an explanation? I just don't see how passing it benefits the majority of N.H. citizens nor does it seem to benefit the majority of Salem residents.