Vote No on HB 1607/SB372 the Education Tax Credit Program for Scholarships/Vouchers
Sarah M. Stitzlein, Ph.D. Educational Policy Studies
Assistant Professor of Education, University of New Hampshire
· The most recent (2009) and consensus-earning national data suggests that vouchers have not made any improvements in achievement or graduation rates over traditional public schools.
o Additionally a major 2011 study of low income students in Milwaukee found that those attending voucher schools performed no better, and often worse, on state standardized tests than students in traditional public schools.
o Interestingly, this bill does not provide the option of defraying costs associated with transferring to another public school, suggesting that the heart of the bill is focused on rewarding private schools rather than truly ensuring the best educational options for children, which may very likely be other public schools. (This was said to be addressed in later amendments.)
§ Given that the proposed NH legislation does not cover transportation costs, one can see that families who use the program would already be those well enough off to be able to provide the time and vehicle for transporting their child to a private school.
§ Vouchers tend to cause de facto segregation. Currently across the nation only 9% of private school students are Black and 8% are Latino. Overuse by white families leads to higher numbers of whites in private schools and some white families may intentionally seek them for that very reason.
4. Vouchers drain the public schools of students, funding, and resources. Due to the use of vouchers in Milwaukee, public school attendance over the last decade is down 20% and it’s down 56% in D.C. This drains money from the public schools (in the form of expenditures that help cover costs that remain static even as the number of students decline, like heating bills).
5. Vouchers invite legal problems. Conflict with putting public money into privately run schools, especially religious ones, opens up NH to major legal challenges by allocating public funding or channeling private donations through public pathways and into religious organizations.
Vouchers undermine the publicness of public education! We should all be working together to keep NH public schools strong, rather than just turning to private approaches to supposedly benefit a small percentage of people.
Testimony to the Senate Education Committee on SB 372, establishing an education tax credit to fund school vouchers >