DNHPE 2/27/12 Update: School Voucher Impact on New Hampshire Towns Varies Widely

posted Feb 27, 2012, 5:50 AM by Bill Duncan

I've just sent out this press release.  This information would also be good fodder for letters to the editor because it makes clear the real potential impact of a school voucher plan that may seem small and distant to people who are not following it closely.  

Students leave public schools for private schools every day, but the impact of voucher students leaving is much greater.  Where, under normal circumstances, the school continues to receive state aid for 3 years after a students leaves.  That's fair because, the way the system works, the school educated the student for her first 3 years without getting state aid.  But if a voucher student left, schools would lose that state aid right away and would never be repaid for those early years.  


FEBRUARY 25, 2012
Defending New Hampshire Public Education
Contact: Bill Duncan 603-682-4748

School Voucher Impact on New Hampshire Towns Varies Widely

New Hampshire Department of Education Projects the Impact of the Proposed Voucher Plan

The New Hampshire Department of Education has calculated the potential impact of the proposed school voucher plan (HB 1607 and SB 372) on each town in New Hampshire.  The calculations are based on the current version of the plan under discussion in the Legislature (available here).  

The analysis by the New Hampshire Department of Education shows that, at the currently projected plan size, $7,775,734 in state grant funds would be held back from New Hampshire cities and towns in the first year.  It is not possible to predict exactly how much each town would lose, but the New Hampshire Department of Education analysis provides an estimate here.

When a student leaves a New Hampshire public school under normal circumstances, the school's revenue from the State is not immediately affected.  However, if the school voucher plan passes and a student leaves with a voucher, the school will immediately lose the state aid for that child.  The school voucher plan could reduce the state education grant to many towns substantially.  For instance,

Bedford could lose 158 students and $362,837 

Concord could lose 136 students and $312,315 

Conway could lose 30 students and $68,893 

Dover could lose 90 students and $206,679 

Keene could lose 38 students and $87,265. 

Laconia could lose 40 students and $91,857 

Manchester could lose 368 students and $845,089

Nashua could lose 160 students and $367,430

Tamworth could lose 6 students and $13,779  

If a student continued to receive voucher funding, school districts would lose this same amount for this group of students each year for 3 years.  The plan sponsors are seeking legislation that would continue to take aid from the schools until a voucher student graduated.  

Portsmouth and other communities who receive no state grant would lose no funds.

Under the plan, the number of vouchers offered could grow by as much as 25% per year. Vouchers would be offered to students who could not go to private schools without them but also to students already in private school, students who would have gone to private school without the vouchers and to home schoolers. 

Details the plan and the potential cost for each town are available here.