CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today, the House of Representatives voted 182-171 to reject HB 1684, which would limit education freedom account funding to budgeted amounts. Representative David Luneau (D-Hopkinton), Deputy Ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee, released the following statement:
“When the school voucher program was first proposed last year, we warned that its projected cost of $129,000 was massively underrepresented by the Department of Education. In its first year the program is already 6,000% over budget and projected to cost taxpayers up to $70 million a year. Republicans claimed that the vouchers were needed for ‘school choice,’ yet over 80% of participants were already in private or home schooling. Taxpayers are now being forced to subsidize private education in addition to funding public schools.
New Hampshire Republicans are working to systematically dismantle public education and the voucher program is integral to their effort. On one hand, Republicans are micromanaging the curriculum and cutting the funding of public schools. On the other, they are offering taxpayer funded subsidies for private education which is conveniently exempt from the same roadblocks.
It is very concerning that Republicans voted to block this legislation to protect taxpayers from runaway spending in the voucher program. Granite Staters cannot afford to both subsidize private education and keep our public schools strong. Today’s vote by House Republicans harms public education and keeps taxpayers on the hook for their irresponsible spending.”