To the editor:

It’s very disheartening to read that the New Hampshire Senate has passed an initial draft allowing for school vouchers.

This is the latest in a series of Republican-led efforts to defund and disenfranchise our public schools. That those schools perform well is in spite of our state's efforts rather than because of them.

It took a series of lawsuits to force the state to live up to its obligations toward an adequate education. That issue exists 30 years later, still leaving most funding to local communities and resulting in still wide disparities.

The Legislature defunded the university system by almost half just a few years ago, while Gov. Chris Sununu appointed a state commissioner who home-schooled his own children.

Let’s make no mistake: Home-schooling, charter schools, along with private and religious schools for the most part, are fine and do well. But the taxpayer shouldn’t be paying for them.

Rep. Regina Birdsell and other Senate Republicans are trying to portray vouchers as a humanitarian effort. Really?

Is that why Republicans in Congress fought so hard against the latest stimulus package as “bloated," providing much needed support to public schools, but their 2017 tax revisions gave little support to low and middle income Americans, while providing whomping cuts to the wealthy and corporations?

We already have school choice. It's a question of who pays for it.

Let's expose this voucher system for what it is - another attempted end-run around funding our schools rather than fully supporting them.

Tom Walters


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