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Choice for all: House should pass SB 193

November 13. 2017 10:44PM

The New Hampshire House Education Committee is scheduled to take up a bill that would make a small, but ground-breaking, reform to public education.

SB 193 would allow parents to access a portion of the state’s adequate education funding for their children, turning students into customers, and unleashing the power of choice throughout New Hampshire’s public school system.

Gov. Chris Sununu is a strong supporter, and has been working on amendments to rally a majority of the committee, including a means-test that would exclude well-to-do families.

That may be necessary to get the bill through the House, but it would be unfortunate. The New Hampshire Supreme Court has found a state responsibility to provide the opportunity for an adequate education for all children. That responsibility doesn’t go away if their parents are rich.

SB 193 should provide the same state support for every child. Most parents would keep their kids in their local public school. But others will have new options open to them. The bill isn’t about giving out state favors, or attacking local schools. It’s about giving parents more control over existing state education aid.

The legislative process often complicates simple and powerful ideas. The House Education Committee should send SB 193 to the full House, with a positive recommendation.

Education State Government Editorial

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