(HB 362, which would end the Education Tax Credit, appears dead for this session. But it will no doubt resurface. Excellent points on the subject were made recently in a Bow Times editorial by Publisher Chuck Douglas. Excerpts follow.)
The repeal of the ETC would help force students attending a non-public school or being home educated to attend public school.
As Bow’s Dominic Lucente observed:
“If this bill passes the sponsors will tear into low and moderate income families that are trying to do the best for their children’s education. If this bill passes it will eliminate the tax education credit that helps fund this program. This wonderful program allows families that cannot afford private schooling to have that opportunity. Even more disturbing is the fact that 30 percent of the recipients of these funds are non-white families. It would be very hard to find another bill in New Hampshire that so blatantly attacks minorities.”
With the ETC program many students have chosen to attend parochial or other Christian schools. But Matt McMenaman, admissions director for the Catholic Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, estimated that 35 percent of the students who attend the school using an ETC scholarship aren’t Catholic.
The proportion of students using the scholarships to attend religious schools has stayed the same between 2015 and 2017. During that time, the number of recipients has more than doubled.
The average cost of a public school education is $16,000 per student, but the average scholarship given to a low income child to attend a private school is $2700. Sure, the state does not collect those scholarship funds in taxes but the taxpayers aren’t paying $16,000 for that student either.
To qualify, the annual family household income is capped at three times the federal poverty rate so rich families cannot participate. Lower income families can now afford a private school education for their children...
It is clear...liberals don’t want low income parents to have a shot at a better education. Just leave it to rich people to have that choice.