School Choice Scholarship Act introduced

By Grant Bosse on January 24, 2012
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The Union Leader reports on the School Choice Scholarship Act introduced in the House and Senate yesterday.

Legislators introduced companion bills Monday to provide a state business tax credit for contributions to scholarship organizations that help students move from public schools to private schools.

“Rich people already have school choice. The School Choice Scholarship Act helps bring that choice to all New Hampshire families,” said Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center.

The Bartlett Center, which supports HB 1607, sponsored by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, and SB 372, sponsored by Sen. Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford, released a study of similar programs in states from Pennsylvania to Arizona.

The School Choice Scholarship Act would give New Hampshire businesses credit against the Business Profits Tax for donations to organizations that provide scholarships to school-age children, including those who are home-schooled.

In the Nashua Telegraph, Kevin Landrigan reports on the latest Josiah Bartlett Center study on School Choice Scholarships.

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy examined existing tax credits in eight states and found they affected less than half of 1 percent of current spending on public schools, were constitutionally sound and had strong support of participating parents.

Rhode Island (2006) is the only New England state with these tax credits and has small participation; Pennsylvania (2001) is the only other state in the Northeast and has the largest number of served students in the country.

“Rich people have school choice; poor people do not, and it has great consequences for educational opportunity,” said Charles Arlinghaus, executive director of the Josiah Bartlett Center.

NH Public Radio also reports on the bills to provide tax credits for donations to School Choice Scholarships.

The funds would come from a tax credit given to businesses that donate to state-certified scholarship programs.

“In the last decade eight states have launched education tax credit programs to expand educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students,” said House Majority DJ Bettencourt, who sponsored the legislation.

“Education tax credit programs have saved money in other states,” said Bettencourt.

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