Today is a victory for students and educational options! The New Hampshire Surpreme Court unanimously ruled that the tax-credit scholarship program is Constitutional. Granite State families regardless of their zip code, socioeconomic status, or religious affiliation will have greater access to education that meets their children’s needs.
The scholarship program, created in 2012 and available through the Network for Educational Opportunity (NEO), raises private donations which underprivileged families may use for tuition at private schools, out-of-district public schools, or for homeschooling expenses. Now this can be expanded for tuition at religious schools. The charitable program is similar to donations to the Red Cross, Good Will, or a church. The school selection is the parents’ choice, so this is a private donation used for private decisions. NEO reports that they have received more than 1,500 scholarship applications to date.
Although it is a day to celebrate, we must continue to advocate for educational options. Opponents who want to limit parents’ ability to direct their children’s education will not be deterred by today’s ruling. The prime litigant, activist and state Board of Education member, Bill Duncan, has indicated that he intends to continue challenging the scholarship program.
We’re in this together. We need to support other parents who want educational options, regardless of which ones they choose for their families. Charter schools, private schools, religious schools, homeschooling, traditional public schools — it is all about empowering parents with choice. When a child is in a program that “fits” them, everyone wins…the child, the family, and the community.
For additional information about the lawsuit, read “The Network for Educational Opportunity Awaits the NH Supreme Court Decision.”