Written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee submitted in response to Duncan testimony, Cornerstone Research, 1/24/12

posted Feb 1, 2012, 2:21 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Feb 1, 2012, 5:19 AM ]
DNHPE Comment:  Mr. Moody's spin (highlighted below) aside, here is what he actually said (twice) on the radio program.

"In New Hampshire, we're seeing a decline in school age children.....If that parent feels they need to pull their child out of the public school system and put them into a private school, that's going to hurt the public school system as a whole.  This will give parents other options and potentially keep that child in the school system." 

Which, of course, it the opposite of the argument Cornerstone will need to make in support of HB 1607/SB 372, the bills to fund vouchers with education tax credits.  

Sometimes it just gets hard to remember which pocket you left your talking points in....

Testimony in Support of HB 1607 from Scott Moody. Vice President of Cornerstone Policy Research.

For the House Ways and Means Committee

January 24, 2012

Hello, my name is J. Scott Moody and I am the Vice President of Policy for Cornerstone Policy Research. I am submitting this written testimony to the Ways and Means Committee as clarification to written testimony presented by Bill Duncan of Newcastle. On January 23, 2012, Bill Duncan, who testified in opposition to HB 1607, included a statement in his written testimony that he attributed to Cornerstone Policy Research. He attempted to paraphrase a quote made by myself that he presumably heard on the July 17th show The Exchange on NH Public Radio. The show in question was a discussion about HB 542 which recently passed the House and is now law.

On this show, I said HB 542 was fundamentally addressing parental rights. Parents have the best knowledge to know whether a school is meeting their child’s needs. Competition is good for the private sector and it is also good for the education sector. If a public school isn’t meeting a child’s needs then a parent will look for alternatives like a private school or homeschooling. HB 542, which allows exceptions to be made for materials parents deem to be objectionable, puts the burden on the parent to pay for alternative materials and allows for the teacher and parent to come together and figure out a solution for the child. This is good for the child, good for the parent and good for the school. I believe what Mr. Duncan was referring to in his testimony was my statement that parents pulling their children out of public school would hurt the school’s bottom line: fewer children means fewer tax dollars to the school. My point was that public schools that aren’t delivering a product valued by parents risk losing students. So, if schools want to retain the students they have, they need to offer as good an educational product as their competition which may be private schools.

Thank you. Sincerely, J. Scott Moody, VP of Policy, Cornerstone Policy Research