Point/Counterpoint: Education tax credit program

In today’s Union Leader, Cornerstone Action’s executive director Ashley Pratte states her case for the state’s education tax credit program. The program that grants tax credits to businesses to fund students attending private schools, religious schools and home schools was declared unconstitutional earlier this week.

Writing in his Advancing New Hampshire Public Education blog, Bill Duncan refutes her argument point by point by point. Here are a few snippets

Pratte: Since its implementation on Jan. 1, New Hampshire’s education tax credit has been popular among parents as well as members of the business community who have given generously to the fund. …

Duncan: It’s so popular with the business community that it has raised less than $200,000 of the $4 million first year target. …

Pratte: The money secured from the scholarship program never goes to the state. In fact, those who established the program carefully designed it so the funds are moved into a charitable organization and are completely protected from greedy hands in Concord.

Duncan: Judge Lewis points out: “The New Hampshire tax code is the avenue used for producing and directing much money into the program. … Money that would otherwise be flowing to the government is diverted for the very specific purpose of providing scholarships to students.”

Pratte: Denying 400 students from low-income families the right to attend an academically rigorous school with a more wholesome culture is a selfish act that must be called out for what it is. 

Duncan: “Academically rigorous?”  The main beneficiaries of the program are unaccredited Creationist schools teaching that dinosaurs and people roamed the earth at the same time.