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Why SB 193 is Bad for Schools and Families in NH

Press Release Contact: Sam Watkins 603.344.0536 [email protected]

For Immediate Release November 9, 2017

Portsmouth, NH – Governor Chris Sununu this week gave his strong support to SB 193, a bill that seeks to allow state funding to be used by families that send their children to private schools. Passing this bill would set New Hampshire back by widening the gap in educational opportunity between students in the richest and the poorest communities in our state.

This bill is another example of ideology trumping data based, practical public policy, and it ignores the demographic realities we face here in New Hampshire.

Spreading a finite amount of public money over more schools as the student population has dropped 25% over the past 15 years means more inefficiency in the way we deliver educational outcomes in New Hampshire. It means lower teacher pay, higher administrative costs per pupil, and fewer education dollars staying in the classroom. Given our demography and our already sky high local property taxes, SB 193 is exactly the wrong direction to address these challenges.

Further, studies have shown that SB 193 will actually raise local taxes, with the increase disproportionally affecting communities with a lower property tax base. We will be hurting the communities and school systems that need proper funding the most.

Governor Sununu stated, “this is pushing the boundaries and allowing New Hampshire to be a gold standard for the rest of the country to follow.”

I cannot disagree more with the Governor. This bill would send New Hampshire down the wrong track, leading to less money staying in the classroom, and higher property taxes, particularly for the communities that can least afford either.

I am running for governor of my home state because I am on a mission: to make New Hampshire the best state in the country to start and raise a family, and to start and grow a business. The quality of our public schools is the single biggest factor in whether we reach that goal, and SB 193 will make it more difficult to achieve this mission.

SB 193: Analysis of Potential Impact on Tax Rates in Rural New Hampshire, https://reachinghighernh.org/2017/11/06/sb-193-analysis-potential-impact-tax-rates-rural-new-hampshire/ Sununu Takes Strong Stand on School Choice Bill, http://www.unionleader.com/education/Sununu-takes-strong-stand-on-school-choice-bill-110829017