Heartland Institute Reacts to School Choice Victory in New Hampshire

June 28, 2012

The New Hampshire Legislature on Wednesday voted to override Gov. John Lynch’s veto of Senate Bill 372, the School Choice Scholarship Act. The bill allows businesses to receive tax credits for donations to scholarship funds that allow low- and middle-income students attend private and religious schools.

The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.

“This is breakthrough legislation for New Hampshire, but I hope that in future years the program will be extended to non-poor children and to twice or three times the $2,500 limit, which might more fully cover the tuition costs of private schools.”

Herbert J. Walberg
Senior Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute

“Republican leaders took a bold stand towards ending the government monopoly over New Hampshire education. Following past experience and research, in the near future expect New Hampshire taxpayers to save, families to approve heartily of their new opportunities, and minorities and the poor to be most benefitted.”

Joy Pullmann
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News

“Congratulations to the state of New Hampshire and its courageous legislature. It isn’t every day that an expansion of school choice passes by an override of a gubernatorial veto.

“It is time for legislators and governors across the country to see that protecting the failed, legacy school system is becoming a losing proposition for politicians. Expansions of parental choice and education options need to start passing everywhere, and the politicians need to understand that passing such laws is the right thing to do.”

Bruno Behrend
Director, Center for Transforming Education
The Heartland Institute

“Perhaps 10 or 20 years down the road, it will not be big news that a state has enacted a new program to expand the choices of schools, private and public, available to parents. By then, it is possible that all or most states will have realized that freedom of choice yields a much higher level of education quality and parental involvement than a government monopoly ever can deliver. However, for now, advocates of choice often must battle guardians of the education status quo.

“Thus, it was very big news Wednesday when the New Hampshire legislature overrode the veto of Gov. John Lynch and put into effect a statewide tax-credit scholarship program that will help thousands of low- and middle-income families gain access to private schooling. This wonderful news for New Hampshire comes on the heels of similar advances recently in several other states, including Virginia and Louisiana. In all, there are now 31 publicly funded programs to boost private choice in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The trend is clear. Freedom is winning.”

Robert C. Holland
Senior Fellow, Education
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.