Republican members of the N.H. House Education Committee are proposing the biggest voucher program in the country!

House Bill 20 would make 95 percent of New Hampshire children eligible for vouchers in the amount of $3,800-$8,500. The funds could be used for tuition at private or religious schools, home schooling and other related schooling expenses. There would be no adequacy testing, no anti-discrimination protection, and no provision for federally mandated special services.

At a time when the state is looking at a projected shortfall of $89 million related to the pandemic, such a bill would be catastrophic. The implications for our kids, our public schools and our communities are enormous. People come to New Hampshire for our quality schools, rated fifth in the nation. Businesses do the same. Our schools are facing enormous challenges to their budgets and making tough decisions every day about programs, staff and facilities.

Our public schools are chronically underfunded by the state and voucher monies would be taken from the state aid to education, putting enormous additional pressure on local property taxes.

Who will foot the bill? The property taxpayers of course! In 2017, a similar proposal was killed because of its deep inequities and its huge cost. This bill is even more ambitious. We say, let’s continue to make our public schools better and stronger for all our children. They are our future.

We say a resounding, “No!” to this continued cost shifting to local property taxpayers.

ELEANOR and DOUGLAS COCHRANE

Hancock