A school choice: NH House has to pick a sideEDITORIAL
January 02. 2018 9:28PM
Does New Hampshire have a responsibility to schools, or to the actual students who attend them?
That is the fundamental choice before the New Hampshire House Thursday morning when it considers Senate Bill 193.
The bill would enable parents seeking alternatives to their local public school to tap into a portion of the state’s adequate education aid.
Most parents would keep their kids in their current schools, but giving them state-funded options would create powerful incentives for public and private schools alike.
In this debate, too many local school officials treat students as their tickets to state funds, complaining that if parents find better alternatives, school districts would no longer receive state grants for students they no longer educate.
But state aid is not an entitlement to local school districts. It is an obligation to the child. Giving parents some control over how that money will be spent turns those students into customers, with all the leverage that comes with the power of market choice.
The choice facing the House as it considers SB 193 is whether the state’s educational responsibility lies with the brick buildings in each New Hampshire town, or with the children seeking the best possible education.
Can parents be trusted to make decisions about what is best for their children? Will we let the inertia of a 19th-century public school monopoly prevent us from passing a bold, student-centered innovation?