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A choice for Joyce: SB 193 is an opportunity

February 14. 2018 11:50PM

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig opposes Senate Bill 193, a bill that would expand school choice options across New Hampshire.

We would hardly expect otherwise. Craig is a liberal Democrat, and the teachers’ unions at the core of her political coalition will not stand for anything that threatens their virtual monopoly within the public school system.

Craig sees giving parents control over state education dollars as a threat to Manchester schools. Parents might take their children, and the state money that comes with them, somewhere else.

Should SB 193 make it into law despite Craig’s objections, we suggest the mayor take advantage of the opportunity it would present.

Enrollment in Manchester high schools dropped when neighboring towns opted for other options. That has led to large overcapacity, even as city elementary schools remain crowded.

What if Manchester took advantage of the school choice to attract new students to the city? The Manchester School of Technology could be a magnet, drawing students and revenue.

Why not use the excess space in other high schools to offer innovative programs that would bring in students? Most communities would not be able to undertake such an experiment without huge capital expenses. Manchester has extra classrooms ready and waiting.

School choice could give Craig an opportunity for innovation, whether she wants it or not.

Education Local and County Government State Government Editorial Manchester

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