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The case against ESAs: Liberal opposition to school choice

December 03. 2017 3:15AM

We have finally discovered a government spending program that liberals oppose: helping New Hampshire students get a better education.

We think the reason Democrats at the New Hampshire State House oppose SB 93, a bill to give parents greater control over the state's adequate education funding, is because teacher unions fear competition. But let's take a look at the argument they make, namely that state funding for education alternatives would devastate local public schools.

Most parents won't use the Education Savings Accounts to be set up under SB 93. Their children would continue at the municipal public school provided by local taxpayers. But the local district would no longer receive a state adequecy payment for students who choose an alternative.

That's the case now. Local school don't receive state aid for kids who don't attend. So why should local districts feel entitled to perpertual state funding for children who would otherwise pick a different school?

Opponents of SB 93 don't really object to children leaving the municipal education monopoly. They object to a state program making that choice easier.

Nor would local schools crumble if more students sought a better education outside of the system. Some school costs are fixed, but lower student enrollment also leads to less crowded classrooms, and for fiscally responsible school boards, lower overall spending.

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