It is somewhat surprising that $3.4 million in funding for additional charter schools found its way into the new state budget. In the last legislative session there was a big fight over charter schools. The state Board of Education last year imposed a moratorium on the approval of any new charter schools, citing a lack of funding. Republican legislators countered that the board overstepped its authority, and there was interest on the left in not supporting the expansion of charters. And yet, here we are.
Gov. Maggie Hassan, to her credit, included funding for new charter schools in her budget. Both the Democratic House and the Republican Senate supported funding new charter schools and lifting the Board of Education’s moratorium. Not only did existing charter schools get funded, but lawmakers included millions to help new ones get started.
That is great news for parents and children. New Hampshire has excellent public schools by national standards. But not every school is right for every kid in the district. Charters give students an opportunity to find a school where they will thrive. We need more of them, especially in the North Country. This modest funding is less than is needed, but at least it continues the growth.