Monday, June 6, 2011

Rock Solid Ideas for the Granite State

Presidential hopefuls aren't the only folks making noise in New Hampshire this week: school choice supporters are having their voices heard, too. In fact, the New Hampshire General Court has established a committee to study how school choice—vouchers and tax credits—can help students access a quality education.

New Hampshire spends a whopping $11,700 for every student to attend public school in the state, with dismal results: only 39 percent of 8th graders are proficient in math and 43 percent are proficient in reading.

Here’s what leaders in Concord should consider:

Twelve states and the District of Columbia currently operate school choice programs giving more than 190,811 students access to high-quality private schools.  With more than 20 programs spanning the nation, low-income children, special needs children, foster care children, and students attending persistently failing schools have the chance to succeed.
  • School voucher programs allow disadvantaged children to receive scholarships to attend the schools of their parents’ choice. In voucher programs, education dollars follow the student. With 20.5 percent of New Hampshire students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, a means-tested voucher program is a great option for the Granite State.
  • Scholarship tax credit programs allow businesses and individuals to donate to scholarship-granting organizations that help children attend quality schools. Tax credit programs have helped more than 123,500 students across the nation receive scholarships.
The New Hampshire Committee on school choice is opening the door to school choice in the state.  New Hampshire elected officials need only to look around at the programs across the country for effective, highly-accountable programs that help thousands of children access a great education.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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