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Many parents cannot afford private schools; SB-193 will help

To The Daily Sun,

If a contractor did a good job for you but a bad job for your neighbor would you force your neighbor to keep rehiring the same contractor? Would you tell your neighbor to hire a second contractor to follow the first and fix the first contractor’s poor work? No.

But this is what happens with children’s education. Many public schools fail to provide a good educational opportunity to all students. And parents have to make up for public school deficiencies if they can.

Children and society both suffer when children are poorly educated. Poorly educated people often struggle to support themselves; too often they become a burden on others or even become criminals who hurt people and drive up taxpayer expenses for police, courts, prisons, etc.

Some parents can afford to hire tutors, purchase study aids, or send their children to other schools; many cannot. I know a family, in an excellent Connecticut school district, that feels the school is failing one of their children, but can’t, without help, afford a private school.

We’re Americans; it’s beneath us to allow each child to be denied a chance for a decent education. But decades of increased public school funding shows that our public schools can’t, or don’t care enough to, offer a good education to each student.

We can and must do better.

The New Hampshire House has proposed a new five-year pilot program to address this problem. This program is limited to students from poorer families (no more than 300 percent of poverty) meeting certain criteria, e.g., attends an under-performing school.

This program allows parents to establish Education Freedom Spending Accounts (ESAs) funded with the state’s per student funding money. The ESA can be used for homeschooling, tutors, online courses, courses at public schools, tuition at a non-public school, or other qualified expenses. The program is only open to current public school students who, if approved, withdraw from their public school. Student educations are monitored to ensure appropriate progress.

Importantly, the impact on a local public school is negligible; the loss of state funding is limited to no more than one-quarter of 1 percent of the school district’s annual budget, typically less impact than from year to year student population changes.

 SB-193 addresses the concerns about financial impact on the public schools while providing a remedy for students failed by public schools. New Hampshire must do better for all students, and this program has helped students elsewhere. This pilot program is proposed by the House Amendment to SB-193 which will be up for a vote in early January.

Please tell your representatives to support SB-193.

Don Ewing

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 226

Can ethical Christians continue their support of Trump?

To The Daily Sun,
A bit of caution to the evangelical Christians who voted for Donald Trump; don’t follow blindly. There is no question that you are ethical Christians but many of you have chosen to continue to support a corrupt leader as he leads you into the swamp. There is no justification for endorsing a man who has sown the seeds of destruction. He’s slowly debasing the office he holds. An office that he was elected to by smearing his primary opponents, actively inciting hatred of Hillary Clinton and, if we can believe some of his campaign aides, got more than a little comfortable with Russian agents.
Now, what about where you stand on the Mueller investigation? Do you, as Christians, endorse the actions of some the Trump aides? Do you endorse the concerted efforts of some Republicans to discredit Bob Mueller personally, while trying to establish some distance between the president and his former aides who have admitted acts of corruption? Is this a repeat of the Ken Starr fiasco?
There are some other issues lurking at the edge of all this. Can we applaud the efforts to change our tax obligations? Will we be better off without the Affordable Care Act? If so, then why are so many in the insurance and medical provider fields not totally agreeing? Is massive Medicaid the answer to affordability of care? Something isn’t adding up here. What is going to happen to the health care system?
Can we expect Mr. Trump to defend us after he manages to anger those who should be our allies? Are his efforts on trade going to get us a better “deal?” How can we endorse his stand on environmental issues? Can we figure out how he is going to solve the immigration issues when his answer seems to “build my wall?” Maybe he can finance it himself with the windfall that will be due him after the passage of the congressional tax give-away. There’s going to be some stimulation but won’t be the economy. The Republicans can kiss off the middle income vote in 2018. You can take that to the bank. You think the 2016 election was bitter? Wait till you see what comes next. The majority in Congress is going to evaporate when this “tax reform” hits the fan!
Bill Dawson

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 221