For Immediate Release Contact: Deb Howes, email@example.com (603-930-9248)
AFT-NH on Superior Court’s Voucher Decision
CONCORD, N.H.—Statement by American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire President Deb Howes on the N.H. Superior Court’s decision dismissing the union’s challenge to the state’s voucher program, which contended the use of lottery money to fund private schools was unconstitutional, among other challenges:
“The court’s decision is disappointing but not surprising. The court actually said the quiet part out loud, stating that the state does not have an obligation to provide a constitutionally adequate education to children whose parents opt to provide them a private education. That stunning admission should shock the public to its core and give everyone pause about the accountability and quality of voucher schools.
“Interestingly, we had the law on our side because it had stated that lottery funds could only be used to fund public schools and the Education Trust Fund did not list vouchers as an allowable expenditure. But this year, the Legislature amended the statute to allow the Education Trust Fund to be used for vouchers.
“The Legislature should be focusing far more time and resources on the needs of the 160,000 Granite State public school students who deserve a robust curriculum and fully staffed schools, not on the 4,000 students whose families choose to take state-funded vouchers. Vouchers have exacerbated an already disparate burden placed on local property taxpayers to fund the basic right to a quality public education. Every Granite State public school should be a safe and welcoming place where students have the academic challenge and support they need to thrive.”
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