MORE THAN 160,000 students attend New Hampshire public schools, representing more than 90% of families with school-age children. On average, these students perform among the best in the country, which says a lot when state funding of public schools is the lowest in the country. It also says a lot about public confidence and support for public schools when most school budgets are set by voters and most of the funding comes from local property taxes.

Unfortunately, with Commissioner Frank Edelblut at the helm of the New Hampshire Department of Education, public schools are in trouble. When Edelblut testified recently in the ConVal School District v. State of New Hampshire trial, he could not say whether public schools were meeting the state’s constitutional requirement to provide an “adequate” education. But when pressed on the issue, the commissioner proclaimed, without any facts to substantiate it, that alternatives to public schools, including the state’s new school voucher program, do provide an adequate education.

Rep. Mel Myler (D-Hopkinton) is the ranking Democrat on the House education committee. Rep. David Luneau (D-Hopkinton) serves on the House Education Committee and is a former chair of the Hopkinton School Board.

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