Opinion: NH High School Students Opposed To HB 20

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Generic shot of student studying

February 16, 2021
Distinguished Members of the Education Committee,
During the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, our incredible public school teachers, administrators, and workers have truly met the moment making it possible for us to learn safely during this difficult time.

That’s one of the many reasons why we’re incredibly alarmed by a bill that
members of your committee are supporting that diverts funds away from public schools, New Hampshire House of Representatives bill HB20.

Because of the Governor’s draconian budget and the unpopular policies his administration is pushing, it is clear that public education in New Hampshire is under attack. The aforementioned bill, HB20 is just one example. It would provide families the option of sending their tax payer
dollars to other educational institutions rather than their local public schools.

In other words, HB 20 is a voucher system that would strip our valued and ever-necessary public schools of hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and quite possibly more.

A single town, for instance, with roughly eighteen children sent to private schools whose parents opt into sending their tax money to these private institutions, would lose downwards of $67,000.

This math only incorporates the absolute minimum figure which represents the tax voucher, to put it into perspective. If this bill were to be passed in the NH legislature, it, along with Governor Sununu’s proposed budget, would create an immense struggle for public schools across the state, even more than they are already experiencing.

According to a report from Reaching Higher NH, “There is no stated provision where the scholarship organization must complete a comprehensive financial audit, submit proof or records of fiscal management, or any other oversight to ensure that the organization, or families, are using public funds for their stated purpose.”

This could open the door for a complete misuse of the taxpayer dollars, ultimately hurting students, our teachers, and our communities.
Voting to divert funds away from our public schools in the middle of this pandemic will have serious and tangible consequences for students like us. We encourage you to vote against HB 20 and to end this senseless attack on New Hampshire’s public schools.

Aaron Russell, Concord High School
Ella McCown, Concord High School
Greta Norton, Concord High School
Jennifer Aquino-Patzan, Concord High School
Mattison Howard, Concord High School
Mia Hand, Concord High School
Sarah West, Concord High School
Fiona Elliott, Concord High School
Nikhil Chavda, Cow-Brown Northwood Academy
Hana Suljevic, Manchester Central High School
Lilly Tague-Bleau, Manchester Central High School
Christina Horne, Milford High School
Cyrus Sullivan, Milford High School
Grace Carpenter, Milford High School
Heather McGinley, Milford high school
Eliana Romero, Nashua High School North
Addison Hebert, Nashua High School North
Asma Akbar, Nashua High School South
Austin Bartnicki, Nashua High School South
Christina Menke, Nashua High School South
Clara Chung, Nashua High School South
Dante Castellano, Nashua High School South
Raina Shroff, Nashua High School South
Rishi Patel, Nashua High School South
Samay Sahu, Nashua High School South
Sara Thellen, Nashua High School South
Gus Vigorito, Newmarket High School
Zoe McGuirk, Newmarket High
Grace Lunney, Newmarket High School
Deepthi Onkaram, Oyster River High School
Ella Gianino, Oyster River High School
Katherine Discoe, Oyster River High School
Kathy McEwan, Oyster River High School
Maya Ajit, Oyster River High School
Trysten McClain, Plymouth Regional High School (alumni)
Stefan West, Rundlett Middle School
JJ DeFeo, Sanborn Regional High School
Julia Daniel, Souhegan High School
Maddie Daniel, Souhegan High School
Christianna Kosta, Timberlane High School
Max Beckerman, Timberlane Regional High School
Rosalie Averill, Timberlane Regional High School
Sophia Biondolillo, VLACS

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