Concord – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch issued a statement following the Joint Fiscal Committee’s vote to deny an item that would have allowed the Department of Education to accept more than $10 million in federal funds for the purpose of expanding charter school opportunities for New Hampshire students.

Republicans on the committee voted unanimously against the motion to deny the grant.

“For years, Democrats in the legislature criticized Republicans for, in their words, leaving federal money on the table for the expansion of entitlement programs,” said Hinch. “Now we see them leaving money on the table for something as fundamental as education. They claim funding public school is one of their top priorities, and charter schools are, in fact, public schools. Their bias and short-sightedness are putting children across the state at a disadvantage.”

“There are many communities in this state where there is only one option for education,” Hinch continued. “For the students who may not be thriving in that environment, charter schools provide another option for educational success. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that Democrats are playing politics with thousands of children’s education opportunities, and leaving children behind, rather than help all children in our state succeed.”

“I think we need to recognize the successes our existing charter schools and the fact that there is demand for them throughout the state in places where they don’t currently exist. It is wrong, and partisan, to deny these funds,” Fiscal Committee member Rep. Ken Weyler (R-Kingston) stated during the discussion on the item.