Freedom of Education in New Hampshire | School news
New Hampshire has now emerged as one of the nation’s leading states for educational freedom for families and students. With our public schools ranked among the best, why is freedom of education important? The basic answer is that even the best school may not be the best educational solution for every student. Children learn differently. The pandemic and distance learning have also opened a window for parents to educate their child. Some parents didn’t like what they saw. And now we realize that there are instructions on critical race theory and possible new mask mandates for students. Many parents want options. And now there are new, interesting and extensive options available.
Freedom Education Accounts
Education Freedom Accounts will be a new opportunity for families with incomes below 300% for federal poverty guidelines ($ 79,500 for a family of four) and whose child is eligible to attend a public school in NH. A family that enrolls their child in an account will receive state funds for the child that would have gone to the local public school district (on average $ 4,600 less administrative fees). Parents can use the funds to personalize their child’s education from a list of eligible expenses. These include tuition at a private or non-district public school, program, therapies, tutors, educational software, and transportation. Applications for opening an account will be available in early August. For more information, send an email to csfn[email protected]
Tax credit scholarship program
This program was launched in 2013 and allows companies to benefit from a tax credit (85%) on their business taxes for the sums they donate to the scholarship program. Individuals can also do the same for a tax credit on their interest and dividends. The Children’s Scholarship Fund of NH awards scholarships to students. Again, the family income limit is 300% of federal poverty. For more information, send an email to [email protected]
Retrieving Bright Futures Learning Modules
This new program will start in September. Our Ministry of Education has partnered with Prenda schools to offer these small groups (5 to 10 students) learning pods. The ministry will provide grants using federal funds to pay the guide / teacher Prenda in modules established by school districts based on requests from families or a group of families establishing a “community” module. It is also an opportunity for teachers to work in a different environment with a small group of students. For more information, visit https://prendaschool.com/new-hampshire.
Develop charter schools
The Department of Education secured a federal grant for public charter schools in New Hampshire, both for new charters and to expand existing charter schools. Charter schools are public schools and require application and approval from the National Board of Education. Students can apply to attend a charter school and the school is publicly funded based on enrollment. Charter schools are free. For a list of current charter schools, see the Department of Education website at https://www.education.nh.gov.
This 2018 program recognizes that children learn outside of the classroom. It expands local school district programs to larger and larger organizations, such as the NH Academy of Science and Kumon Learning Centers, which are endorsed by the State Board of Education. Completion of these programs results in the award of high school credits. For more information, send an email to [email protected]
Modern States Education Alliance and the College Board
This innovative program is open to any NH high school student to earn college credit. The College Board has developed CLEP exams to test students on their knowledge for introductory college courses. The Modern State Education Alliance has developed online courses to prepare students for taking the CLEP exams. Modern states will pay the CLEP exam fee for any NH student who completes their free online course. A student can actually earn enough credits to get their first year for free! For more information, contact Jennifer Leckstrom at 215-681-0770 or [email protected]
These are needs-based scholarships for students who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. Three categories of scholarships are available, two of which are for children with special needs. Each category has family income restrictions. The scholarships go up to $ 5,000 and each has specific authorized uses for the scholarships. For more information, see https://yeseducation.nh.gov.
(Editor’s note: The Honorable Glenn Cordelli is a fifth term member of the District 4 House of Representatives and vice chair of the Education Committee.)