As Governor Sununu so eloquently states in a letter read at a recent School Choice Week celebration, “Within every child exists their own particular genius; one that must be nurtured and developed in a manner that is fitting to the individual student.”
The Education Tax Credit (ETC) Scholarship provides New Hampshire families access to the broad array of schools that can meet their children’s unique educational needs. Children’s Scholarship Fund is proud to have awarded ETC scholarships to 310 New Hampshire children this school year to attend 49 diverse schools statewide.
Without the ETC scholarship, these low- and moderate-income children would no longer be able to afford to attend schools where they have been making academic gains and would have to return to school environments that were not working well for them. The ETC is the only program in the entire state that can help a child who has been bullied, has fallen below grade level, or who has experienced discrimination immediately move to a school that can better meet their needs.
Currently, eighteen states have ETC scholarship policies in place and the programs have been operating for more than two decades – the first was Arizona’s in 1997. Indeed, they are the largest form of private school choice in the nation, serving 275,000 students – more than school voucher and K-12 education savings account programs combined. They are administered by a total of 809 scholarship granting organizations, including Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire.
Families come to CSF for many reasons and each child has their own story. With that said, the top reasons we hear from families are: safety, academic fit, special needs, and discipline. A child may also be experiencing a combination of these. For example, it sadly is not uncommon for the parent of a special needs child with autism who is being bullied at school to turn to CSF for a scholarship.
Governor Sununu says it best when he writes, “A child’s potential is best realized when they and their families can choose a school that will engage, prepare, and educate them for the future. Unfortunately, other than the choice to uproot and move to a different school district, most middle-class families lack the choice in education they deserve. Critics fail to appreciate that school choice is neither an indictment of public schools nor a battle between our public and private schools. Through school choice we provide students with the opportunity to excel in an education environment that is best equipped for their needs. It is for this reason that I will oppose any attempt to repeal school choice programs in New Hampshire.”
The children and families Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire serves are very lucky to have business leaders, community leaders, and Governor Sununu working to ensure the ETC and their scholarships stay in place.