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Defunding public schools? No, that’s a myth
Giving lower-income families the ability to send their children to better schools ought to be universally applauded policy.
Instead, it is being attacked.
In June, legislators passed a law that allows businesses to get state tax credits for a portion of their donations to educational scholarship funds.
The scholarships, which must average $2,500, would help families who are unsatisfied with their local public school pay the cost of tuition at a non-public school.
New Hampshire Democrats are attacking this achievement by saying that Republicans this year took money from public schools to give to private schools. That is terribly misleading, to put it charitably.
The average scholarship cost is, by law, less than what the state pays in per-pupil education aid. And the tax credit covers most, not all, of a company’s donation to the scholarship funds. So the state actually pays a lot less for each scholarship student than it does for each public school student.
The difference remains in the state’s coffers.
The law also caps the amount of money a local school district can lose from fleeing students at 1/4 of 1 percent of its budget, and it caps scholarship eligibility at 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
Clearly, the scholarships do not defund public schools.
They allow lower-income parents to use a portion of their allotted per-pupil education aid at a different school if the one to which their child is assigned is a bad fit. That is not anti-school or anti-education.
It is pro-child.
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