The controversy exists between the two political parties and within the homeschool community. Many homeschoolers oppose special treatment in the form of money. Public schools and their advocates fear the loss of funding and students. Kathleen Ronayne’s article below was published yesterday. Education tax credit will aid few public school students
In the quickly approaching school year, about 100 students statewide will receive scholarships under the state’s new education tax credit law. But the majority of those scholarships will go to home-schoolers or students already attending private schools rather than to public school students seeking alternative options. Only about 15 of the 100 students receiving scholarships from the Network for Educational Opportunity, the main scholarship organization, will be moving from public to private schools. Of the other 85 scholarships, about 50 will go to students who are already home-schooled and plan to stay there, and the rest will go to children already attending private schools. The total amount of scholarship money is not final because the group is still waiting to hear back from some families, but the scholarships must average $2,500, said the network’s Executive Director Kate Baker.
Read more at the Concord Monitor
The Union Leader offers more information on a June court decision regarding this program. Religious school students are now deemed ineligible. UPDATED: Judge strikes down state education tax credit program, appeal expected By John DiStaso
The state’s new education tax credit program is unconstitutional because it diverts tax payments to religious schools, a superior court ruled Monday. Gov. Maggie Hassan quickly hailed the ruling. Proponents of the law promised an appeal. Judge John M. Lewis, ruling in Strafford County, held that “New Hampshire students and their parents certainly have the right to choose a religious education. However, the government is under no obligation to fund ‘religious’ education. Indeed, the government is expressly forbidden from doing so by the very language of the New Hampshire Constitution.”
Are some homeschoolers learning in a religious environment as a private school? Tricky business deciding that. It won’t be homeschoolers making that determination. Here’s the carrot for businesses:
The law was passed last year by a Republican-led Legislature over the veto of Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat like Hassan. It allows businesses to receive tax credits against business taxes owed equal to 85 percent of amounts they donate to state-designated “scholarship organizations.” The organizations may then award scholarships up to $2,500 to primary and secondary school low-income students to attend non-public schools, as well as public schools outside their home district, or to defray costs of home schooling.
It appears the New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear the case. There is surely a more direct route for tax benefits. Live Free or Die