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Senate Committee Votes Against Repeal of Private, Religious School Voucher Bill

CONCORD – Senator Molly Kelly released the following comments on the Senate Heath, Education, and Human Services Committee’s 3-2 vote of Inexpedient to Legislate on HB370 which would repeal the private and religious school voucher program or so-called ”education tax credit.”

 “This bill repeals a private school voucher program that diverts public funds away from our public schools and directs private, non-profit corporations to allocate taxpayer dollars with no oversight or accountability,” said Senator Kelly. ”This so-called “education tax credit” is in direct conflict with the NH Constitution by using public funds to pay for religious schools and limits state funds for public school districts, while downshifting the cost of reduced adequacy payments to local communities and property taxpayers.”

 “The Voucher Program became law last year when the super-majority Republican Legislature overrode then-Governor Lynch’s veto of SB372. It was a misguided venture then and the same is true today. I voted against this bill last year and I will be consistent and vote for the repeal this year. A bad policy is bad policy, no matter if it’s law or not.”

 “Ensuring a quality education for all of our students must be a legislative priority. I will not vote to undermine the education of the nearly 200,000 students that attend NH public schools in favor of the few who will have the opportunity to attend private and/or religious schools. At a time when the legislature has levied record budget cuts to our public colleges and universities — including Keene State — it is irresponsible to appropriate and direct millions in public money to private schools.”

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