From our Education Desk:
Would you be willing to send an email in support of SB 318? This bill will help address school funding inequities that work against property-poor towns, help public schools meet the workforce needs of New Hampshire businesses, and increase the rate at which low income and underachieving students successfully enter the workforce.
SB 318 would work by expanding the Education Tax Credit scholarship program. Individuals and businesses who donate funds to help public schools implement workforce development programs would get the same 85% tax credit that people/businesses currently get for donating to a scholarship fund for homeschools and private school tuition. Public schools in property poor communities would be the highest priority of the program. A little more background can be found after the talking points below.
What to do: Testify or send an email
The hearing on SB 318, will be Wed., March 13 at 9:15 (State House room 100, Senate Ways and Means Comm.), and testimony in favor of it is welcome. But if you can’t do that, please send an email in the next week or so. You can send a single email to all members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee if you go here, scroll to the Ways and Means Committee, and click on “email entire committee.” Be sure to identify the bill in the subject line and let them know you’re a NH voter.
Talking Points: (Please choose one or two and use your own words; elaborate as you like)
- This program would help public schools better meet the workforce needs of NH businesses, which often struggle to find qualified applicants for jobs.
- The bill would prioritize helping students from low income families and in property-poor towns become ready for the workforce, opening new opportunities for them
- If we give tax credits to businesses and individuals for donations used for home schooling and private school tuition, why not do the same for those who would like to help strengthen public school programs that will help low income students become workforce-ready?
A little more background:
Right now the ETC program only allows tax credits for people/businesses whose donations help students at private schools and home schools; we’ve opposed it because a lot of the money goes to religious schools (unconstitutional) and because of the lack of public accountability of home schools and private schools. Although we applaud the democratic legislators who are trying to dismantle the program altogether, we also expect that Gov. Sununu will veto their efforts. Given that likelihood, this “public option” is a positive step. [Although we’ve opposed the current ETC program in other contexts, please stay away from criticizing it in this context; we’re trying to get support from all sides for this proposal.
Thanks for any help you can give on this!
Mary Ann and Christine