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Entries in School Choice (125)

Saturday
Feb072015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Gov's Budget, Trains, and School Choice 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire
 

February is that exciting time of the year when the governor gives us a special valentine in the form of her budget address. Much better than candy or flowers, it is an outline of the two-year state budget – the policy document that guides every little thing the government does and defines an administration. With government currently divided, we should listen carefully to see if this critical address is meaningless theater or the first step toward something constructive happening despite political antagonism. Click here to keep reading.


This week, the Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Study’s final report was released. The study, which began in 2013, examined a number of transit options for the corridor, with most of the public and political attention focused on the possibility of extending commuter rail into the state. The final study looked at 7 transit options, three for commuter rail, three for bus and a ‘no build’ option. These options were reduced to 5 with the elimination of two of the bus proposals from further consideration. This piece details the commuter rail options presented in the report. Click here to keep reading.


Last month we celebrated School Choice Week here at the Center, highlighting all of the great things that happen when parents are empowered to make get the best education possible for their children. 

A short documentary, Live Free and Learn, was produced by our friends at Cato, that details the School Choice Scholarship Tax Credit here in New Hampshire, and the impact it is having on education.

And
a podcast featuring our own Charlie Arlinghaus discussing education reform in New Hampshire. Click here to listen.

Monday
Oct202014

Daily Signal - Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail 

Friday
Aug292014

NH Rep O'Brien - Supreme Court decision on Duncan v. State of New Hampshire 

In 2012 the New Hampshire legislature overrode Democrat Gov. Lynch’s veto and passed the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a law intended to give the children from poor and medium income families the opportunity to get the same educational opportunities that the children of Gov. Lynch and so many of his well-heeled political and union boss friends enjoy.  This pro-educational choice law allows businesses to give a very limited amount of their pretax dollars to private charities set up to give all but a small percentage of the funds they receive to educate children from families earning no more than 300% of the federal poverty line.
 
Ever since this law came into effect, vested educational industry interests, led by those who do not have to send their children to failing schools, have tried to reverse Gov. Lynch’s failed gubernatorial veto with a judicial veto.  They forum-shopped for a favorable judge.  They had that judge issue a decision limiting the law based on premise that would make any liberal smile: he said, in effect, that all your money first belongs to the government, so if government leaves some to you after taxes with the knowledge that you might spend it on a religious-based education, then government is supporting religion.
 
This trial court decision has now been subject to review in the New Hampshire Supreme Court and fortunately, it was reversed.  The decision found the plaintiffs lack standing to be in court challenging this law.  As a consequent, the Supreme Court overturned this clearly erroneous decision. 
 
The Supreme Court today rejected the trial court’s decision that in effect would have told the NH Legislature to be hostile and not neutral toward religions.  Our state constitution does not lay the foundation for such a radical and harmful government.
   
New Hampshire scholarship students will be able to attend the schools of their choice.  They and their parents will decide and if their decisions are for religious schools or secular schools, it will be up to them and not up to vested education industry interests trying to corral all students into failed government schools.
 
Decades of union and liberal tinkering and reforms have tainted the splendor of what was a public education system that was the envy of the world.  We must do better for our children.  We must expand the education choices available to all families, even those not as rich as the present and past New Hampshire governors opposing educational choice and the lead plaintiff in the Duncan case.  The journey to a better education for our children must and will continue.
 

Friday
Aug292014

NHDP Statement on NH Supreme Court's Decision Not to Rule on Reckless Education Voucher Law 

Manchester, NH – After the New Hampshire Supreme Court decided earlier today not to rule on the constitutionality of the reckless and irresponsible education voucher law, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to rule on the reckless, fiscally irresponsible and unconstitutional education voucher law that could dismantle New Hampshire public schools.

“Already, two lower courts have found the law to be in violation of the state's constitution.

“This disastrous education voucher law funnels public funding to unaccountable out of state right-wing groups bent on destroying our public education system and hampers our state's ability to provide Granite State students the education they deserve.

“The education voucher law also irresponsibly shifts burdensome costs to local communities and forces property tax payers to foot the bill.

“Republicans like Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway who support this misguided and right-wing education voucher law will have to answer to Granite State voters why they want to raise their property taxes and undermine their public education.”

Friday
Aug292014

NH Republican Senate Majority - Bradley, Carson applaud Supreme Court decision upholding school choice program 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Tax credits for scholarships going to low-income NH families

 

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) today applauded the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision to dismiss a lawsuit against New Hampshire’s School Choice Scholarship Program.

 

“School choice scholarships give low-income families more flexibility to find the best educational options for their children. Public schools in New Hampshire do a great job of meeting the educational needs of most students. But as a parent I know that some children need more choices for their education, which is why I have long supported charter schools, homeschooling, choice in which public school to attend as well as tax credit scholarships for low income students,” Bradley said “I’m pleased that New Hampshire’s School Choice Scholarship Program will be allowed to continue.”

 

“This is a great day for school choice, and for all parents looking to provide their children with the best education possible,” Carson said. “School choice is a proven tool to increase educational quality.”

 

Bradley and Carson were co-sponsors of SB 372, a 2012 bill which established education tax credits to fund school choice scholarships for low-income families.