Legislation would protect taxpayers by limiting program to ‘school choice’
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, the House Education Committee heard testimony on HB 430, which would re-focus the Education Freedom Account program to “school choice” for students struggling in public school. The EFA program is currently open to both public school students and students who are already in private education. Representative David Luneau (D-Hopkinton), prime sponsor of the bill, released the following statement:
“The EFA voucher program was touted as an opportunity for students who are not succeeding in public school, at a substantial savings to property taxpayers. But that is not how the program was written. Instead of simply providing options to public school students and reducing taxpayer obligation in the process, New Hampshire’s EFA program was opened to those already in private education, who had previously cost the state nothing.
In just two years, the EFA voucher program has increased spending over $23 million, with more than 75% of those funds going to households already in private education. This legislation seeks to re-focus the program to its intended purpose – ‘school choice,’ and end the unsustainable subsidies for those who already made the decision to attend and pay for private school.
The NH Department of Education projects EFA’s will cost New Hampshire $60 million in 2023-2024. When people can barely afford to buy eggs for their family, they certainly do not have extra money to help other people pay for private school. This bill will preserve ‘school choice’ for those who need it, does not affect any current participant in the program, and will save Granite Staters millions of dollars over the next two years. I strongly encourage my colleagues on the Education Committee to support this legislation.”