This year, House Republicans worked hard to give local control back to the municipalities and more importantly, to the families and businesses within these communities. In a delicate balancing act, local control has always been tied to limited interference at the State level, and it seems that balance is starting to tip. More constituents are reaching out asking for constitutional protection against the COVID-19 mandates that have been disruptive to everyday activities.
At this pivotal moment, NH families and school boards are at a crossroads – weeks before the 2021-2022 school year begins. The very center of this conversation is mask mandates. Many school boards are in discussion with their communities asking for parental input while others are not – leaving parents feeling isolated and upset that they are not being heard, or that their opinions about their own children do not matter.
House Republicans know change is most effective on the local level, which is why we provided parents with a choice – school choice. With this in mind, House Republicans have implemented many policies that will empower parents to pick the educational solution that best fits their family.
For example, Education Freedom Accounts allow parents to invest money into their child’s education if their local school district is not getting the job done, allowing lower income families the option to move their children to private schools, charter schools, or even homeschooling. This move assures that if one zip code’s administration refuses to listen to parents, people have options. Furthermore, the highly successful Education Tax Credit program has provided a number of students the chance to pursue an education that best suits their needs. This is done by providing scholarships to students currently struggling in their public school and allows them to seek the opportunities that will help them succeed in the future.
Finally, we continued our commitment to our state’s public charter schools by providing them over $1 million in lease aid over the next two years and nearly doubling the maximum aid amount that each school can receive. Public charter schools provide thousands of students with unique educational opportunities that may not be available otherwise. It is critical that we continue funding these important organizations and continue to foster an education system that allows each student to thrive.
House Republicans stand with Granite State families and understand that there is no magic “one size fits all” solution to education. The current environment that we are in is no exception. While some families prefer a more careful approach to placing their child back in the classroom, others want to move forward full steam ahead. The most important part of this decision should be the parents. By empowering parents to make this choice for themselves, we ensure that if there is a disagreement about reopening plans or mandates, parents have the freedom and liberty to take their children elsewhere to learn and have educational opportunities. As a parent, I urge all New Hampshire families to make the decisions for their children that best fit their comfort level, and to all students of the Granite State, work and study hard, and never forget the power of a proper education.