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School choice: Not a threat to public education

October 10. 2018 9:28PM

The most pernicious claim made by opponents of expanding school choice in New Hampshire is that giving parents greater control over where their kids go to school is a threat to public education.

What does this say about the faith of public education advocates in local public schools?

If providing additional state aid to parents who want to send their children to private schools would create a mass exodus, isn’t there a bigger problem?

In truth, expanding choice will open up new possibilities for families who cannot currently afford other options, but most parents will continue to send their children to their local public school.

The state’s Education Tax Credit program is very modest, but has helped several hundred families make better educational choices. A study from the free-market Josiah Bartlett Center last year calculated that if the Education Savings Account program shelved by the House had been adopted, local school districts would still have received more than 98 percent of their state education aid.

School choice is simply not a threat to public education. It can be a signal to school districts that they need to improve in order to keep parents satisfied. And it can be a path to better education for struggling students.


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