Granite State Enacts Second School Choice Program


NH Gov. Chris Sununu speaks at a rally for school choice. (Credit: Union Leader)

(Guest Post by Jason Bedrick)

In a week that’s already loaded with good news for school choice, Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire decided to add some more with the signing of a town tuitioning bill. Check out this blog post at EdChoice for more info:

SB 8 clarifies that any town—not just towns that share a border with other states—may include non-religious private schools in their town tuitioning plans. Town tuitioning, a longstanding tradition in New Hampshire and other New England states, occurs when a district “tuitions out” students to public or private schools in surrounding towns and districts because their home district does not provide schools with the grades those students need.

An equivalent bill was sent to the governor’s desk last year; however, then-Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed it, claiming that a failure to exclude religious schools violated the state’s Blaine amendment. The current bill excludes religious schools, freeing legislators to deal with that issue in a separate fight.

The exclusion of religious schools is a serious defect, but I noted earlier this week, Blaine’s days might be numbered. The Live Free or Die State already has a tax-credit scholarship program and the legislature is currently considering a universal ESA.

One Response to Granite State Enacts Second School Choice Program

  1. NH residents might also want to find out how their students in “school choice” schools are doing in an international context–by pushing for NH participation in TIMSS (sampled or total testing in grades 4, 8, and Advanced) in math and science. This requirement can be added to the draft of their State Plan, all being returned to the states with revising suggestions from anonymous “peer reviewers” at USED. Nothing in ESSA language forbids additional testing of any kind.

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