Testimony to the Senate Education Committee on HB 1607

Highlight video from Senate Education voucher testimony, Tuesday, 4/12/17

posted Apr 20, 2012, 3:25 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Apr 20, 2012, 7:07 AM ]

All witnesses at the hearing were voucher opponents.  Here is a sampling, ending with Rep. Neal Kurk's March 29 floor speech opposing the voucher bill.


Highlights from Senate Education, 4/17/12



Here's Tom Southworth's whole testimony.

Tom Southworth, of Dover, testifying on vouchers to the Senate Education Committee, 4/17/12



Letter to the Senate Education Committee from Londonderry School District Superintendent Nate Greeburg

posted Apr 14, 2012, 5:17 AM by Bill Duncan

The original letter is attached, below.




 

LONDONDERRY SCHOOL DISTRICT



April 12, 2012

Senator Nancy Stiles

Chair Senate Education Committee

Legislative Office Building

Room 103-A

33 North State Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Dear Senator Stiles:

 

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the hearing on HB 1607 on April 17, 2012 due to work related responsibilities.  Thus, I would greatly appreciate it if this correspondence could be entered into the record as my testimony in opposition to that bill.

I would like to make several points in regard to my opposition to the bill though there are for me a number of additional philosophical and legal issues for my opposition.  I will for the purposes of brevity focus on downshifting of costs to local taxpayers and accountability.

  • Downshifting

As the bill is written, students leaving a school district would in essence take their State money with them.  One student less in a classroom or a grade level would not reduce the fixed costs for a school or a school district.  The loss of the student would not change fixed costs such as staffing, heating, transportation, etc.  Thus, the $3,450 loss in State aid would have to be made up by local taxpayers.  To expand the above concept, if three to five students were to leave the district at each grade level, the district would lose upwards of a quarter of a million dollars with no reduction in fixed costs; creating a downshift to the local taxpayers of that sizeable sum of money.  In essence, the local tax base would be subsidizing private school education.  Tax revenue from business taxes under this plan would be reduced.  This does not make sense particularly in a time when the State has already reduced its funding of catastrophic aid as well as vocational tuition and transportation aid adding to the financial burden at the local level; let alone the potential impact of pending court action regarding the retirement system and proposed legislation regarding same.

Too, it should be noted, there is no prohibition in either tax credit bill prohibiting the utilization of these “scholarships” for out-of-state private or religious schools.

In summary, the equation is simple:  LR (Less Revenue) + FC (Fixed Costs) = DLTP (Downshifting to Local Tax Payers).

  • Accountability (Educational/Financial)

With all due respect to the sponsors, a three (3) question survey to the parents is not an accountability plan for a scholarship that amounts to the equivalent of over 70% of an individual student’s adequacy aid.  The “plan” lacks any method for judging student progress, school performance or financial accountability.  This “accountability plan” aside from its lack of educational and financial accountability has no assurance that the schools receiving these “tax dollars” will comply with all appropriate federal and state laws and regulations (i.e. non-discrimination, 504, etc.)

Thus, in conclusion, the “tax credit bills” will downshift costs to local taxpayers, increasing local property taxes; and does not provide any legitimate form of accountability either educational or financial; as well as having the potential of sending tax dollars via the State and local taxpayers to out-of-state private and religious schools.

Please consider these arguments against the “tax credit bill(s) and vote no.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this important matter.

Sincerely,

Nathan S. Greenberg

Superintendent of Schools

Londonderry, NH

 

NSG/ema

 

cc:       Londonderry School Board

            Senator Sharon Carson

            Representative Alfred Baldasaro

            Representative James Headd

            Representative Karen Hutchinson

            Representative Robert Introne

            Representative David Lundgren

            Representative Betsy McKinney

            Representative Sherman Packard

            Representative Daniel Tamburello

            Representative Stella Tremblay

 

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