Some New Hampshire Democrats are suddenly learning something from the public charter schools they despise. Federal grants come with strings attached!
That’s what state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro said last week in declining the first round of $46 million from a federal grant to expand public charter schools in New Hampshire.
But has Lou clued in his pals, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, to this earth-shattering revelation? Those two, along with Congressmen Chris Pappas and Anne Kuster, crank out press releases by the truckload announcing this or that federal grant is coming our way.
This is especially so with Shaheen and the congressmen up for election next year. But never once in all these announcements have we seen any reference to “strings.”
D’Allesandro and legislative fiscal committee Democrats used the string theory last week in tabling the first $10 million of this grant that state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut’s department had requested and won. The Democrats also noted that the new state budget spends more on public education than in the last 20 years.
Are the Democrats saying this is enough spending? That, too, would be a switch.
In fact, the only reason the Democrats are trying to refuse this money is because it would expand New Hampshire’s public charter school initiatives that hold out the promise of fixing some of what is wrong with public education.
With the exception of some charter schools, New Hampshire’s recent school testing results are nearly as dismal as the rest of the country’s. Yet the big-government types, and the teachers’ unions, keep insisting that more and more spending is the only answer.
That hasn’t worked. New Hampshire charter schools, however, offer some hope. With far fewer tax dollars, these schools are showing promise. Charter students reached a higher percentage of proficiency in seven of eight categories. Edelblut is hopeful that more can be done, for both charter and regular district schools, under this grant.
The Democrats claim they need more information and a “more comprehensive review” of this grant. If they meant that, we would not object. But we doubt all the information and reviews in the world would alter their opposition.