By Michelle Levell
Today, families, legislators, business leaders, and other Granite Staters who support the proposed Education Savings Account bill, SB 193, held a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Speakers included Speaker of the House Gene Chandler, Majority Leader Dick Hinch, Harold Turner who is CEO/President of the HL Turner Group, Drew Cline with the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, Rep. Lisa Freeman who also serves on the Manchester school board, and several parents.
All students, regardless of their zip code and income level, deserve the opportunity for an education that fits their unique needs and goals. In a recent Concord Monitor article, Middleton McGoodwin, the superintendent in the Claremont school district, said, “In truth, today, in NH, a child’s zip code determines their educational opportunities.” ESAs empower our most-vulnerable children with equal opportunities, like their wealthier peers.
New Hampshire has the opportunity to put more options within reach for low-income children with Senate Bill 193, the Education Savings Account (ESA) bill. ESAs are funds that children receive to a designated account that are used for specified educational purposes. Approved uses may include textbooks, online classes, tutoring, testing, AP classes, dual-enrollment courses, private school tuition, homeschool expenses, and other education-related fees. ESAs will benefit the most vulnerable in our communities who otherwise cannot access options. Even if the pilot ESA program can only help a few hundred children, it still makes a big impact on their individual lives.