Home > Uncategorized > Reasoning Behind NH Voucher Bill Flawed Full of Holes… But with the GOP in Control of the Senate, House, and State House it WILL Pass

Reasoning Behind NH Voucher Bill Flawed Full of Holes… But with the GOP in Control of the Senate, House, and State House it WILL Pass

February 3, 2021

As noted in the column and in an op ed piece I wrote a few weeks ago, the Democrats won the battle for the Presidency but lost the ground war in many states, including and especially my home state of NH. Today’s Valley News features an article by AP writer Holly Ramer that describes the deeply flawed Hinch Bill that will create “Education Freedom Accounts” that could enable parents to use $4500 to enroll in the school of their choice.

In their original conception, “Education Savings Accounts” (the generic name given to this funding scheme) enabled rich libertarian-minded donors to make contributions to a fund and get a tax deduction. In most cases, those funds would be used by disadvantaged children. This funding scheme was a way for “pro-choice” advocates to sugar coat vouchers in a way that progressives would presumably find difficult to argue against. NH’s version of this concept makes no pretense of relying on affluent donors and makes no pretense of trying to help those students who are “trapped” in “underperforming schools” based on their zip code. This bill is a naked transfer of money earmarked for schools to ANY parents and specifically underscores the availability of funds for students opting out of public schools for homeschooling. One stand-alone item reads:

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require that an EFA student be enrolled, full- or part-time, in either a private school or nonpublic online school

When that is combined with the broad flexibility of the bill is is conceivable that a parent could use the $4500 per child to rent an RV with wifi and spend the year traveling across the country… or use the $4500 to buy lots of electronic gadgets that could be used for “remote learning”… or— you get the idea.

It also provides parents with a $4,500 de facto scholarship for any school of their choice: Philips Exeter Academy; a parochial school; a boarding school; or a for-profit on-line charter school.

And here’s what is even more disturbing: the $4500 does not come exclusively from the funds accumulated in the ESA: it comes from the general fund meaning it comes from the already limited coffers public schools have at their disposal.

And last but not least, there is no accountability whatsoever…. at least not the kind of accountability imposed on public schools:

… While participants wouldn’t be required to take statewide assessment tests like their public school peers, “It has better means of assessment. It has parental accountability,” said (Rep.Glenn) Cordelli, R-Tuftonburo.

“A parent can walk and take their dollars with them if their child is not getting a proper education,” he said.

Oh boy… the parent can get as check for $4500 and as long as they vouch that their child is getting a good education they can pocket the money while their child watched Khan Academy videos— or videos based on textbooks like “Mathematics for Christians”. Live free or die…..

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