New Hampshire bill would create opt-in version of education freedom account

(reimaginED) – For decades, “public education funding” has carried a simple connotation: money, raised by state and local taxpayers, going to local public schools.

But Rep. Kevin Verville sees that as a flawed definition. And he’s betting that his fellow Republican legislators do, too.

“When I hear the term public education, I hear that we are going to educate the children of a community using public money. That’s what I hear,” he said in an interview.

“Some people want to say public education means that we are going to build and staff a school, we are going to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. And if you don’t like that, then after you pay for that, you can choose to pay for a second school on top of that.”

Verville, a Deerfield Republican, is the architect of a bill that would bring the state closer to that alternate vision of education funding. Months after passing a program to allow state education funding to go toward private school tuition and homeschooling costs, Verville and Republicans on the House Education Committee want to expand that model to local tax dollars.

The bill, House Bill 607, would create an opt-in, local version of the “education freedom accounts” program passed this summer. Under the proposed law, parents in participating towns could access thousands of dollars of a town’s portion of public school tuition and use it for private school or homeschooling expenses.

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