Tax Credits for Private Schools Would Divert Public Resources, New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, 1/23/12

posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:53 PM by Bill Duncan

The House Committee on Ways and Means met today to receive public input on legislation that would create a tax credit for businesses that contribute to private scholarship organizations.
The money would be used for subsidies to students attending private, religious or home schools.
House Bill 1607 would be costly for state officials to implement and would divert scarce public resources to private interests. In particular, state aid to public schools would likely be cut even though there is no evidence students receiving subsidies to attend non-public schools do any better than their public school peers.
Executive Director Jeff McLynch urged the committee to oppose the legislation for the following reasons:
  1. The bill would reduce funding for public services generally and likely for public schools in particular.
  2. The bill primarily would help families that already have the financial means to pay for their children to attend private schools.
  3. The bill ignores research that has found little meaningful difference in performance between students who receive subsidies to attend private schools and their peers who remain in public schools.
  4. The bill would impose new and substantial oversight responsibilities on the Department of Revenue Administration at a time when the department is already struggling to fulfill its core responsibilities.
You can read Jeff's full testimony here. He will reprise his remarks tomorrow before the Senate Education Committee, which is considering a similar bill, Senate Bill 372.  
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