Tax credit plan will hurt public schools, Concord Monitor, 2/15/12

posted Feb 15, 2012, 4:46 AM by Bill Duncan

Published on Concord Monitor (

Tax credit plan will hurt public schools
Tax credit plan will hurt public schools
Aaron Gill, Deering
For the Monitor
February 15, 2012

Republicans in Concord are proposing a $2,500 tax credit for parents of students attending private schools through House Bill 1607. This bill will subsidize a portion of private school tuition by removing public funds from New Hampshire's schools, where our children currently receive a higher quality of education than from most other states.

This is poor policy, and I oppose this bill.

How bad are New Hampshire schools? They're not bad - they're among the best in the country. After reviewing the National Assessment of Educational Progress and New England Common Assessment Program reports, it's clear New Hampshire is one of the top performing states nationwide in nearly every category and grade level.

What would this tax credit buy? The cost of religious schooling runs $5,000-$8,000, while secular private schools can run up to $25,000. The proposed $2,500 credit will not cover the cost of tuition, let alone transportation. More than likely, the beneficiaries of this credit will be those who could afford to cover these costs without the credit in the first place - a nice tax cut indeed.

How would this affect our public schools? The likely result is a decrease in public school funding without a matching decrease in costs.

Who covers the resultant shortfall? Homeowners will give parents of private schoolchildren a tax credit by paying higher property taxes.

Why are we doing this?

I can't think of a single good reason.



(The writer is a candidate for the New Hampshire House.)
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