Thursday, December 2, 2021


Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.


The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

NH Voucher Program Could Cost Much More than Expected


Friday, September 3, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- Public-school advocates are raising concerns New Hampshire's school-voucher program, which diverts state budget funds from public education for some students to attend private schools, might cost millions more than lawmakers were told to expect.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, explained there is no cap on the number of students who can receive vouchers because the Sununu administration estimated fewer than 30 students would apply.

Hawkins noted unlike voucher programs in other states, New Hampshire's is open not only to students currently in public schools, but those who already attend private school.

"This is a real question about whether the state or local communities will foot the bill, and how much the state is subsidizing students who had already opted out of a public education," asserted. "We're really concerned about the cuts the local communities are going to face."

Hawkins argued the state should release a breakdown of how many eligible students already attend private schools, and have emergency meetings to set limits on how much can be spent. She added they had already expected vouchers to cost nearly $70 million over the next three years, but Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut admitted this week the actual cost might be nearly $7 million over their own estimated budget before the program even starts.

Rep. David Ludeau, D-Merrimack, said he pointed out the lack of fiscal accountability in the voucher program, but it was approved anyway. He contended the vouchers siphon funding from public education, and thinks they put the state at financial risk.

"When you're winging it using taxpayer money, that's not a really good thing," Ludeau remarked. "And it's not a good thing for taxpayers, it's not a good thing for accountability, to make sure the money is used properly."

Ludeau plans to propose legislation to limit the number of school vouchers. He emphasized other measures should be considered to continue working to increase equity in student outcomes.

For instance, Ludeau reported 95% of New Hampshire students overall perform better in school than the average Manchester student, and stressed it is similar in other cities, especially low-income cities that do not generate as much revenue from property taxes.

"We'll be bringing forward legislation this coming term to make sure that every district has access to the financial resources they need to close the opportunity gap," Ludeau concluded.

Disclosure: Granite State Progress Education Fund & Granite State Progress contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Gun Violence Prevention, Health Issues, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …

According to the latest Census of Agriculture, nearly 9,000 Iowa farms use cover crops. (Adobe Stock)


GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Some lawmakers have brought a bill to require Michiganders to secure their firearms, but it hasn't made it through the Legislature. (Terry/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. -- With the holiday shopping season under way, experts are urging Granite Staters to watch out for scammers. A survey from AARP found …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021