Thousands of children across NH are now exploring new worlds of learning.
(September 9, 2022, Concord, NH) – Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) is pleased to announce that the families of more than 3,000 New Hampshire children in grades K-12 have completed applications for Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) for the 2022-23 school year. This number, up from more than 2,000 children who used EFAs in 2021-22, underscores a growing demand from Granite State parents for educational alternatives.
EFAs are grants that re-think education and empower New Hampshire families to direct a portion of their child’s state education funding to create learning experiences that are as unique as their child. Under the program, which was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in 2021, New Hampshire families with household incomes of up to 300 percent of the poverty index can use EFAs to direct part of their child’s state education funding to pay for tuition at the school of their choice, tutoring, online learning programs, educational supplies, internet connectivity, and other educational expenses.
Families completing applications must meet eligibility requirements including state residency, age and grade eligibility, and income verification, and they must complete the application process and sign the EFA agreement, which includes agreeing to share academic accountability documents. Eligibility for EFAs is conditional upon the New Hampshire Department of Education’s (NHDOE) verification and funding.
In addition to EFAs, CSF also raises funds for scholarships from businesses and individuals through the Education Tax Credit (ETC) scholarship program, which has been helping New Hampshire families choose the best education path for their children since 2012. More than 1,350 New Hampshire children are using ETC scholarships this school year, including more than 1,100 students using both EFAs and ETC scholarships to find the best educational fit.
“With the Education Freedom Accounts and Education Tax Credit Scholarships, the parent is now in the driver’s seat and we, at CSF, are the guardrails and the gas. We are making it so that a family is empowered to choose their own education road, helping them to figure out how to do it, and keeping them in those guardrails. We communicate, guide, and assist families to fully realize education freedom such that they design and/or choose the learning experiences that meet their child’s unique needs. Thousands of children across NH are now exploring new worlds of learning,” said CSF New Hampshire Executive Director Kate Baker Demers.
Kristen LeGeyt, a parent who homeschools her three sons, told us her eldest son, Bryce, has experienced dramatic academic growth since making the switch to homeschooling. “CSF Education Tax Credit scholarships and Education Freedom Accounts opened up huge doors for what his possibilities are and what we can accomplish in a school year,” she said. “He’s now excited about learning. He has a curious mind and enjoys life.”
Abbey Clegg, who has four children attending private schools with ETC scholarships and EFAs, noted, “Whatever school fits your needs is where your kid deserves to be.”
Rachel LaMontagne, a mom of three children who are homeschooled, recently wrote about her experience using EFAs to purchase curricula and pay for tutoring in the Concord Monitor, saying, “Isn’t choice what the EFA is all about? It’s that freedom to choose, and within that choice, have the financial support to successfully support our different learners.”
EFA grant amounts include base state adequacy aid plus any qualifying differentiated aid that a child is eligible to receive. Grants are only one fourth of what NH taxpayers would spend on students if they were enrolled in their resident district public school but they empower families to make the education choices they need.
CSF will continue to process EFA applications on a rolling basis, although EFA grants for families applying mid-year will be partial and prorated. Interested families should visit CSF’s website to learn more and apply: https://nh.scholarshipfund.org/apply/nh-education-freedom-accounts/.
About Children’s Scholarship Fund: CSF is a national organization with a network of partner programs, each providing scholarships that empower parents to choose schools they otherwise could not afford. Since its inception in 1998, CSF has awarded more than $934 million in scholarships to the families of 191,500 low-income children. Since January 2016, CSF has managed scholarships in New Hampshire funded by donations made through the state’s Education Tax Credit program. CSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity scholarship organization with an annual independent audit. Its 990s, financial statements, and annual reports are public, and it has earned a 4-star rating (the highest possible) from Charity Navigator rating, including the charity watchdog’s highest possible scores a nonprofit can attain for accountability and transparency.
To learn more about the Children’s Scholarship Fund in New Hampshire, contact Kate Baker Demers at (603) 785-0174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.