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Difference between Mega & Billings on voucher plan is critical

To the editor,
The Meredith candidates for school board have each attended numerous school board meetings and both seem aware of the issues facing the Inter-Lakes school district.
But Chris Mega and Mark Billings take different positions on the school voucher plan passed by the previous legislature and that difference is critical reflection of their outlook on public education.
In a letter to the newspapers last fall, Mark Billings wrote: "those who think this bill will financially hurt the public school system have not read the law." The figures don't support that statement. If a family takes advantage of the voucher provided by the educational tax credit, the school district would be penalized by losing its state support for that student (to the tune of $4000-$10,000) immediately. If a student leaves for other reasons, the state spreads that loss over time to allow the district to adjust to the financial loss. Depending on the number of students taking advantage of the voucher, the immediate financial impact could be substantial.
As Chris Mega has pointed out, this law has already been repealed by the N.H. House and is awaiting consideration by the N.H. Senate. It is also being challenged in N.H. courts. Diverting state funds earmarked for public education to religious schools certainly appears to violate the constitutionally protected separation of church and state.
In addition, the law provides no accountability as to the quality of the education or the educational outcomes for the student receiving the voucher: that is certainly not in the state or the student's best interests.
Chris Mega has volunteered extensively in the Inter-Lakes schools, moved to Meredith to educate his children here and would bring a wide range of knowledge to the Inter-Lakes school board.
I am supporting Chris Mega for school board and urge all Inter-Lakes voters to visit his website, www.chrismega.com, to learn more about his great credentials.
Cathy Merwin
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