Press Releases


Entries in School Choice (119)


NRSC - Shaheen Fails Struggling Students 

Shaheen Fails Struggling Students on Loans,
Chooses Politics Over Solutions

Schumer-Shaheen Agenda: Failing to enact permanent fix is “a messaging winner for democrats”

Washington, D.C. - In less than two weeks, loan rates for New Hampshire students will double from 3.4% to 6.8%, yet Jeanne Shaheen is doing nothing to help them.  Shaheen would rather toe the party line than rally behind a solution to help New Hampshire college students who are already struggling to stay above water.

Two weeks ago, Shaheen insisted “The last thing we should do at a time when Americans owe more on student loans than credit cards is to let interest rates on student loans double.” 

Yet, when Shaheen had the chance to vote for a long-term solution...

Shaheen voted against a permanent fix to student loan rates which would have prevented the rates from doubling on July 1st. (S. 1003, CQ Vote #142: Motion rejected 40-57: R 39-5; D 1-50; I 0-2, 6/6/13, Shaheen Voted Nay)

Why did Jeanne Shaheen turn her back on struggling college students? Because New York Senator Chuck Schumer told her to.  According to Roll Call, Schumer said the student loan issue was “a messaging winner for democrats.” Meanwhile, college students are left without a sound solution to prevent loan rates from doubling and time is running out.

"Students are already struggling to pay the bills and face a tough job market, yet Jeanne Shaheen voted against a permanent solution that would have prevented their loan rates from doubling.  Preventing student loan rates from crushing struggling students should be an area of bipartisan agreement in Washington, but Jeanne Shaheen would rather politicize the issue than help working families and students get ahead. New Hampshire needs a serious Senator who works across the partisan divide to fix problems, not someone who instead takes pleasure in inflaming the division," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.


NHDP - Superior Court Rules GOP Education Voucher Unconstitutional

Concord – After New Hampshire's Strafford County Superior Court ruled the Republican education voucher program unconstitutional, New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein released the following statement.   The court’s decision can be read here ( while more information about the plaintiffs and the case as a whole can be found here (
“This is a victory for local schools, public education in New Hampshire, as well as Granite State students and their parents.  Jeb Bradley and Senate Republicans' attempts to put their Tea Party agenda ahead of New Hampshire working families and children continue to be rebuffed and are in direct opposition to New Hampshire values and the State’s Constitution. 
“Senate Republicans should immediately join Democrats in defunding and repealing their reckless, irresponsible, and unconstitutional diversion of local education funding to private and religious schools.  As it was originally intended that funding should go towards providing a quality education for all of New Hampshire’s children, not funneled through a shady out of state organization with direct ties to radical right wing social conservatives.

“The court’s decision raises further concerns about the voucher scheme’s administrating organization, the Network for Educational Opportunity, and their unethical kickback scheme.  The NEO owes the voters of New Hampshire an explanation, why did they offer taxpayer funded kickbacks to religious schools?  And were Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley or any other Senate Republicans aware of the NEO’s reckless kickback scheme when they irresponsibly defended the unconstitutional program on the Senate floor?”
Previously, the Nashua Telegraph reported the NEO was rebuffed at least once after offering Religious schools a kickback in exchange for soliciting donations for their unconstitutional education voucher scheme. [Nashua Telegraph, 4/19/2013]


Statement from NEO Executive Director Kate Baker Concerning Strafford County Superior Court Ruling 

CONCORD, NH – The Network for Educational Opportunity (NEO) released
today the following statement in response to the Strafford County
Superior Court decision affecting the nonprofit organization’s
scholarship program. Below please find comments from NEO Executive
Director Kate Baker:

“NEO works to expand educational options for students who receive
need-based scholarships sourced from private contributions. To date,
our organization has more than 1,000 scholarship applicants – bright,
young, talented students many, in settings that are failing to meet
their individual learning needs. These student applicants and their
families are counting on us to empower them to overcome barriers to
choice in education. We at NEO will not rest until we have delivered
on our promise to help all parents surmount these obstacles.

“Today’s ruling is regrettable since it imposes a limitation on the
options available to parents. With all due respect to the court, the
judge attempts to take away many parents’ right to direct the
educational futures of their children. We are optimistic that justice
will prevail in our appeal to the NH Supreme Court because the U.S.
Supreme Court has ruled that tax credits are private contributions.
Therefore, the false constitutional argument being bandied about
stands on fragile footing.

“All options should be available to parents seeking to be the ultimate
decision-makers on what arrangements suit their children’s precise
learning needs. Today’s ruling, then, changes little through the
troublesome practice of exclusion. For many parents, the ruling
perpetuates a core challenge. It shifts the current system from a
‘one size fits all’ framework to a ‘choice for some as we see it’
arrangement. This ignores what options-hungry parents tell us they
want, and it fails to meet the definition of authentic choice.

“NEO scholarships are building bridges for children from a school
where they are struggling to a school where they can succeed. We’re
giving hardworking families the power to choose schools that are right
for their child. Parents know what’s best for their children in all
facets of growing into adulthood. Certainly education should fall
within parental jurisdiction before others presume to weigh in.

“The battle for education choice in New Hampshire is a long game.
Once more, we will not rest until we keep our promise to our
applicants, and authentic choice in education is preserved in New



Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement today on the New Hampshire Superior Court decision addressing school choice.

"We are disappointed with today's decision and are hopeful that this ruling will be overturned by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

"Education choice is about parents being able to find the best possible educational opportunities for their children, regardless of family income. The School Choice Bill has leveled the playing field, offering even our poorest students the opportunity to access the educational environment that is best for them.

"Governor Hassan has attempted to repeal this important program and demonstrated an elitist and callous disregard for the most vulnerable students in our community. Private funds, not taxpayer dollars, support Education Opportunity Tax Credit Scholarships raising more than $150,000 to support the nearly 250 students who have applied to the program. It is obvious that citizens of New Hampshire are supportive of this critical program and want to see it continued."


AFC - North Carolina House Passes Educational Choice Program

Bipartisan support helps empower parents to make best educational choices for their children

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2013)— The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today applauded the North Carolina House of Representatives for passing a budget that provides funding for an educational choice program creating new opportunities for thousands of North Carolinian children. North Carolina’s educational choice program received bipartisan support and is tailored to children who participate in the federal free or reduced lunch program.

“North Carolina families and children are grateful for the courageous leadership from bipartisan members of the House who fought for educational choice,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “This common sense legislation strengthens North Carolina’s education system by empowering thousands of parents with the opportunity to make the best educational choice for their children.”

As the legislation currently stands, funding will be increased each year, allowing an estimated 12,000 children attend the school of their parents’ choice.

The educational choice program is a part of the budget legislation and now heads to conference committee before being presented to the governor.

“This legislation enables students to obtain new educational options by allowing the funding to follow that student to a school that best fits the child’s needs,” added DeVos. “Parents and students across North Carolina remain hopeful that members of the House and Senate conference committee will recognize the importance of the educational choice program and the opportunities it will offer to countless children.”
The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high quality educational options for families.

Read this release online here.