NH Senator Ray White (R-Bedford) Comments on vouchers to the Bedford School Board, 4/9/12

posted Apr 11, 2012, 7:02 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 1:37 PM ]
On Monday, April 9th, the Bedford School Board held a public meeting with their legislators.  The clip below is Senator Ray White, Republican of Bedford, describing the proposed New Hampshire voucher program, SB 372.  He misunderstands several important elements of the bill.

At the beginning of the clip, Senator White says that business can take tax credits of "up to" 85%, apparently thinking that the percentage applies to the percentage of profits or of tax liability.  In fact, businesses can contribute any amount they want.  The 85% figure is the tax credit they get.  So if a business contributed $100,000, the State would take $85,000 off that business's state taxes.  (The way state taxes are calculated, the actual result is a 93.5% reduction in business profits taxes, plus the value of the deductions from their federal taxes.) 

Senator White goes on to say that there are "triggers" in the bill that cap the amount of state school aid a district could lose.  However, there are no limits on what the district could lose.  The district could lose, on average, $4,300 for each student who left with a voucher.  And they would lose it for as many years as the student was gone.  What Senator White is actually referring to here, as in the other points he makes, is the sales pitch advocates use.  They say that the impact of the program is small compared to our total education budget.  The bill definitely does not contain a promise that the impact on a school district's budget will be limited in any way.  Maybe his position would be different if he understood how large an impact the program could have on his district as it grew over time. 

Senator Ray White describes the school voucher bill, SB 372, to the Bedford School Board