Empower Families with Opportunities

Overview

Senate Bill 193, the Education Savings Account bill, will have a public hearing on Tuesday, January 16th at 1:30pm before the House Finance Committee. The hearing is scheduled in room 210-211 of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), but the location could change. The LOB is at 33 N State Street, directly behind the State House, in Concord. There is on-street parking and a nearby parking garage. Children are welcome to attend, but it may be a long day.

Please join families across the state to support SB 193, a bill that will empower families with more opportunities for their children’s education.

Please consider testifying before the committee. This is the best opportunity for the legislature to hear from you, the families who are most impacted by educational opportunities. Please let the House Finance Committee know how important the Education Savings Account bill is to your family.

If you are unable to attend, please call the committee, or email them at HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. It is important that they hear from you; the people they represent and who are most impacted. Their direct contact information is also listed below.

 

Specifics

Education Savings Accounts are funds that children receive to a designated account that are used for specified educational purposes selected by their families. Approved uses may include online classes, tutoring, textbooks, AP classes, assessments, special-needs services, dual-enrollment courses, private school tuition, homeschool expenses, and other education-related fees. They benefit the most vulnerable in our communities — those of lower-economics means and children with special needs.

SB 193 includes several academic and financial accountability mechanisms that are reported to the legislature and state Department of Education.

ESAs allow families to make educational decisions for their children based on their individual needs using funds that are already allocated for the child’s education. Even if 5% of eligible students participate in the ESA – this is double the utilization seen in other states with existing ESAs and what opponents project – local districts will retain 98.5% of current funding, including local property taxes and any federal grants. This is not a hardship to districts and within normal enrollment fluctuations. This shift recognizes that the state has an obligation to fund each child’s education, not only one possible provider of that education.

Other states with discriminatory Blaine Amendments have ESA programs that have passed constitutional muster; the NH Attorney General’s office indicates the proposed ESA is consistent with NH’s Constitution.

It is time for NH to value each child’s education over protecting a system that may not work for them.

 

Read more about ESAs and SB 193 here.

 

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