New Hampshire school funding bill empowers parents

A recent letter to the editor condemning SB193 argues private schooling is inferior, weakens public schools, expropriates public funds and public funding is unconstitutional. Although results of studies are varied, the aggregate conclusion is that private schooling, on average, is at least as effective as public schooling and may well be superior on a dollar for dollar basis. Competition would push both private and public schools to improve.

The writer suggests allowing education savings accounts, or other funding of individual choice, weakens public schools. If it costs $14,000 per student per year to educate each one, both expense and tax revenue would be reduced in equal proportions, maintaining the same funding and education quality per student attending public schools. The small minority of children likely to attend private schools, renders any effect on public schools to be minimal. It is the weakening of the state’s control of every child’s education (i.e., indoctrination) that frightens such antagonists.

The writer also suggests SB193 expropriates local public-school funds for private use. By definition, expropriation takes private property for public use, thus, the funds people earn for the use of educating their children is expropriated to give to the public-school monopoly, depriving them of their just property rights under the Constitution to control their property.

Contrary to the assertions, the current method of funding public education violates the Constitution, while funding school choice conforms more closely to the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Funding children’s education, rather than the school, allows parents to choose the school. It is impossible for the government to establish any religion if it is the parents’ choice, rather than the government’s. Arguments otherwise would suggest anyone receiving payments from the government violate the Constitution if they should use any of those funds for religious purposes (i.e., the government must tax everyone equally while prohibiting payments to religious people). In fact, if the government is expropriating funds the people would have used for private religious education, the government is financially prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Not only are arguments against school choice unpersuasive, freedom and our unalienable right to determine the education of our own children, demand universal school choice.

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