Kevin Smith Announces Education Reform Plan

Smith: Education reform is critical to our state’s economic success

MANCHESTER – Today, Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for governor, released the third installment of his “New Hampshire’s Future Is Now” plan to strengthen the state’s economy. In a statement, Smith announced his education reform proposal, calling it an important component to rebuilding the state’s workforce and sustaining economic success.

“If we are to put New Hampshire on a path toward prosperity and economic competitiveness, we must strengthen public schools and choice in education,” said Smith. “We cannot compete in the 21st Century economy without a skilled workforce, and that begins with giving students the tools they need early in their academic lives. Improving public schools and providing parents and students with greater choice and flexibility to get the education they need is a vital component to ensuring that New Hampshire doesn’t fall behind its economic competitors in the future.”

“My number one goal as governor will be to create an environment in which the private sector can grow and create good-paying, sustainable jobs in New Hampshire. So, I’ve proposed lowering business taxes, health care costs and electric rates to help existing businesses grow and hire, and to attract new companies to relocate in our state.” Smith continued, “But, if we don’t produce the skilled workforce necessary to fill those new jobs, we will never get them or keep them. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we have the best education in the country.”

“You can’t just say you’ll be an education governor, you need to actually do something about it and put forth a plan. That’s why I’m introducing part three of my plan to improve New Hampshire’s economy, and it centers on education. It calls for empowering families and students, encouraging merit based pay and tenure reform, giving greater flexibility to administrators, strengthening support for charter schools, passing school choice, and allowing our education system to address the different needs of all our students.”

“States like Florida, Louisiana, Indiana and others have made significant progress in passing reforms, such as vouchers and merit pay. And, in each case, students have been the beneficiaries. Bureaucrats and labor unions may not like reform, but their grip on the status quo isn’t doing anyone any good. New Hampshire is falling behind other states, but when I’m governor that will change, and we’ll restore New Hampshire's position as a leader in public education."

Smith noted his disappointment with the absence of an education funding amendment on the November ballot, but he indicated that there are many other reforms also needed.

“I’ll work tirelessly to pass a Constitutional Amendment to once and for all put the authority to make and fund education policy back in the hands of the legislature. But, a Constitutional Amendment is only one piece to improving education in our state. Students benefit from competition and choice – just like in our economy. If we can make strides in shoring up charter schools, passing a voucher program, and giving administrators and teachers greater flexibility in education, everyone benefits and schools get better.”

Part III of Kevin Smith’s “New Hampshire’s Future Is Now” plan follows, or please visit his website at: