New Hampshire School Choice Defensive Victory Brightens Hopes for Colorado

Parent educational power has made some great strides in a number of states in recent years, prompting not only 2011’s aptly-named “Year of School Choice” but also the rapidly-growing National School Choice Week phenomenon.

That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels nor expect opponents to sit back and do nothing. We’ve seen the anti-school choice Empire Strike Back before. This time, as the result of a political power change, certain legislators undertook an effort to repeal the state’s scholarship tax credit program enacted just last year.

No school choice program has been shut down legislatively after being adopted. If New Hampshire lawmakers could revoke the Corporate Education Tax Credit, it would represent a blow not only to the choice movement but also to the opportunities of many Granite State students. The House passed the repeal, but that only got the measure halfway across the legislative finish line. Last week then brought good news out of Concord:

On a party line vote, the Senate tabled House Bill 370, effectively killing the bill which would repeal a new school scholarship program funded through business tax credits.

Interestingly, a decisive factor in stopping the Empire’s attack was a legislator who voted against creating the program in 2012, now voting against the repeal. Senator Nancy Stiles said the state needs to give K-12 scholarship tax credits a chance. Based on the overwhelming track record of choice programs, there’s a very good chance that wait-and-see attitude will be rewarded!

So what took place in New Hampshire is not a huge victory in the sense that we’re just back at the status quo. However, with apologies to Barney Fife, it’s a great relief to see that anti-choice attempts to “nip it in the bud” were stopped.

Making me smile even bigger, this defensive victory offers even brighter hopes to the possibility of having a scholarship tax credit program for Colorado.