Democrats’ Budget Rejects Excellence In Education,
Subjects Kids to Failing Schools
House Democrats Dismantle Educational Opportunity
With Vote to Defund New Charter Schools, Tax-Credit Scholarships
CONCORD, N.H.—While the State Department of Education seeks a federal waiver so it can cover up the 72 percent of New Hampshire public schools that are “in need of improvement,” N.H. House Democrats passed a budget today that will make it harder for students of lower-income families to escape these failing schools.
Republicans associated with the House Republican Alliance (HRA) offered several budget amendments today to protect educational opportunities for children in lower-income families, but House Democrats voted against each one of them. By doing so, House Democrats passed a budget that will prevent the development of any new public charter schools through July 2015 and will eliminate a scholarship program that allows students of lower-income families to leave their failing school for a successful public or private school of their parents’ choice.
“Democrats may have a reputation for supporting education, but today’s vote proves that the only thing Democrats really support is a government monopoly in the education system,” said Rep. Pam Tucker, co-chairman of the House Republican Alliance. “Democrats seem to care more about their special interest union friends who profit off the monopoly system than the lower-income families whose children would benefit from some competition among schools. Democrats seem to think that only the rich should be able to send their children to excellent schools, but Republicans don’t believe an ‘adequate education’ is good enough for anyone.”
Last session, Republicans increased funding for charter schools, which are public schools that use different—and often more challenging—educational approaches that work better for some students than the traditional school setting. Additionally, Republicans passed a law that allows New Hampshire businesses to earn a tax credit of up to 85 percent when they donate the equivalent of their tax bill into a scholarship program for students in lower-income families. The scholarships allow these students, who otherwise would be stuck in a failing public school, to attend the public or private school of their parents’ choice or pay for home schooling materials. Both efforts were designed to immediately improve educational opportunities for some lower-income families and create an incentive for public administrators to improve the academic rigor in their schools.
“The interest in the educational tax-credit scholarship program couldn’t be higher among lower-income families who want an excellent education for their children, and not just an adequate education,” said Carol McGuire, co-chairman of the House Republican Alliance. “Charter schools have provided an alternative solution for similar parents, but most of the existing charter schools have waiting lists much longer than the number of available spots. The demand for charter schools and other educational opportunities couldn’t be greater. We should be expanding these programs, not dismantling them.”
“It seems Democrats would prefer to control the choices that parents make and maintain a status quo public education in New Hampshire,” Tucker added. “Republicans, especially those of us in the House Republican Alliance, believe every child deserves an excellent education. We urge our colleagues in the Senate to reject House Democrats attempt to shut down the brand new educational opportunities that are already in place for so many New Hampshire families.”
About the New Hampshire House Republican Alliance
The N.H. House Republican Alliance (HRA) is open to all Republican members of the N.H. House of Representatives. The mission of the HRA is to promote good legislation that supports the N.H. and U.S. Constitutions and the N.H. Republican Party platform principles of limited government and liberty.
Press Release for House Republican Alliance