AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin (2021-23) Alert on Voucher

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Local School Voucher Bill Heads for a Full vote on January 5th or 6th 

Red Alert

Last week we wrote to you about HB 607 AS AMENDED—a bill that could, without exaggeration, close neighborhood public schools across the state. Make no mistake—this is a continuation of a radical, sweeping agenda by those who wish to see public education dismantled. The bill allows for local property taxes to be used for private schools, home schooling or any other education expenses (which is purposefully broad and not defined). It takes money intended for our local neighborhood public schools and diverts it, costing property taxpayers money and forcing drastic cuts including closing or consolidating many public schools which will leave public school students with a bare-bones, barely adequate education.

Please contact your state representative today by clicking here - No to HB 607.                                          

We know that HB 607 would take 80% of the local per pupil spending and distribute it as a voucher. Here are some of the finer points of this bill.

  1. If a local school district opts into the program and then a year later realizes that it is raising property taxes and lowering student outcomes it can opt-out. However, students who were already enrolled in the voucher scheme continue to receive the funds from their district until they graduate or turn 18. This means that in effect even if a school district realizes it is hurting their budget, they are stuck for up to 13 years. 
  1. Unlike the statewide voucher program, House Republicans passed last year which said you could only participate if you make 300% of the federal poverty line or less—this bill has no income limit. Local taxpayers could be funding millionaires’ educations.           
  2. The amount of money received in the local voucher program is a floor- not a ceiling. If school funding goes up—so will the voucher amount. However, if school budgets are slashed and school funding is cut the voucher amount cannot be cut with it—it must remain at its highest level. Local taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.

We should all be terrified of what this bill means for New Hampshire. We have always been proud of our local public schools in New Hampshire and the teachers and paraeducators —those who devote their lives to our students’ successes—have always been a point of pride for us here at AFT-NH and for everyone in our communities.  We should be fighting for you—not implementing policies that do harm to our students, teachers, and paraeducators.

To fight back against this awful bill we need you to contact your legislator and tell them to support public school students and neighborhood public schools by voting NO on 607.

Thank you as always for all that you do. Please share this far and wide.

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