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Separate church and state

January 02. 2018 9:30PM

To the Editor: This week, the New Hampshire House is scheduled to vote on SB 193, the proposed education bill. If approved, the bill will allow the use of state public funds to pay for private and religious schools.

Separation of church and state has been and should continue to be a fundamental principle of state government.

Further, special needs students could lose their legal protections if they were to transfer to a private/religious school.

By directing public tax money to private schools, SB 193 would undermine projected income from the state for support of the public school system. Despite claims to the contrary, the cost to the state budget could be more than $30 million over the next five years. We need that money to fund full-day kindergarten in all school districts, and assuring that music, art, physical education as well as the regular classes of language, math, and science are fully supported. This would be a better use of tax dollars.

Public schools must account for all students’ progress much more vigorously than what is required of private and religious schools. Also, financing of these private and religious schools is much less transparent. Now, parents have immediate access to school personnel and school boards. Parents and the community know where and how taxes are being spent, part of the local control that New Hampshire residents value.

I urge everyone to call their representatives to tell them to vote no on SB 193.



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