Archive for the Education Policy Category
In Wednesday’s column about a misleading attack on charter school funding, I made a big mistake. I want to correct my mistake about the source of the very misleading information that was circulated and explain to you how I made the mistake and the problem with the information. It’s important that you feel free to agree or disagree with my conclusions but not have cause to doubt my information.
A modest normalization of charter school funding, although long overdue, has become a political football and subject of misinformed and purposely misleading arguments to try and kill it. The truth, easily discovered, is that the proposal covers fewer than 2% of students and involves less than 2% of state education funding and continues to ask charter schools to prosper with less than half the funding of traditional schools.
One committee chairman in the New Hampshire House admitted in a rare moment of candor that he intends to use schools as a political hostage in his grand negotiating scheme. This sort of cynical manipulation helps explain why average citizens have such contempt for politicians and their perverted sense of ethics.
Educational opportunity is something we all want for our children but is under threat in New Hampshire in 2013. While the wealthy can choose among many options to find the best fit for their children, two small programs that increase options for poor people in New Hampshire are both under attack. If opponents succeed in killing the state’s modest charter school program and the school choice scholarship program, educational opportunity will still be a reality for rich people but not for poorer members of the Granite State.
Historical Considerations Concerning the New Hampshire Blaine Amendment By Richard D. Komer, Institute for Justice
The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy’s comprehensive analysis demonstrates that a choice program is consistent with court opinions and permissible under the New Hampshire State Constitution. In addition, a discussion of the Blaine Amendment describes their bigoted history.
In the last decade, eight states have launched scholarship tax credit (STC) programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students across America, particularly those from low- and middle-income families. These programs provide tax credits to businesses that donate to state-approved, non-profit scholarship organizations (SOs). The SOs use the funds to grant scholarships to families seeking alternatives to their geographically-assigned public schools, including non-public, homeschooling, and out-of-district public schools.
A very small step for the state will be a huge leap for individual students if the legislature decides to adopt a modest school choice scholarship act today. Despite misleading accusations flying around from people who resist any change, the debate comes down to whether you want to provide hundreds of poorer students greater choice with little impact on the current system.
Charlie Arlinghaus May 9, 2012 As originally publish in the New Hampshire Union Leader An amendment on education funding in New Hampshire is long overdue and is only common sense. The only thing stopping the legislature from putting one on the ballot are the misconceptions of one group of people and the tax fantasies of [...]
Choosing to Learn: Scholarship Tax Credit Programs in the United States and their Implications for New Hampshire
Access to educational opportunities in New Hampshire is primarily determined by zip code and accident of birth. Though New Hampshire has some of the highest-performing public schools in the nation, performance across school districts is uneven. Public school students in wealthier towns like Windham and Bedford perform highly on standardized tests while their low-income peers in Claremont and Stratford lag behind.