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The Croydon solution: House amendment should work

May 19. 2017 12:18AM

Lacking its own middle school, Croydon has been paying tuition to schools in neighboring towns for its students.

When the town’s tuition deal with Sunapee expired a few years ago, the school board approved sending a handful of those students to Newport Montessori.

That decision drew the ire of the Hassan administration, and the education commissioner and attorney general went on a mission to prevent local tax dollars from going to a private school that hadn’t been approved by state bureaucrats.

The Legislature tried to end the conflict by authorizing Croydon’s decision, only to have Gov. Maggie Hassan veto the bill. The New Hampshire Supreme Court stayed the case to give the Legislature another try.

House Education Committee Chairman Rick Ladd, R-Haverhill, worked diligently to craft a solution. His amendment to SB 8 would authorize towns without their own schools to pay tuition to private schools, without getting permission from Concord.

Ladd’s amendment was carefully structured to comply with the Supreme Court’s Claremont decisions, guaranteeing every student the chance at an adequate education.

The Legislature should expand school choice whenever possible. SB 8 is a small step, narrowly focused to authorize Croydon’s local educational solution. SB 8 heads to the House floor next week, and we urge its approval.

Education State Government Editorial Croydon

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