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Strafford County Superior Court Rules Against Education Tax Credit Provision

The Strafford County Superior Court ruled Monday that part of the education tax credit law passed last year is unconstitutional.  The court concluded that the privately raised scholarships amount to public funds.

The ruling by Judge John Lewis says the scholarship program is still constitutional for students attending secular schools. But since tax credits amount to “money that would otherwise be flowing to the government,” scholarships cannot be used at religious schools.

Kate Baker, who directs the Network for Educational Opportunity, which would administer the scholarships, says her group will appeal this decision in the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

“I see this ruling directly as limiting families’ options. And frankly it seems discriminatory.”

The education tax credit program was a priority for the last, Republican-led legislature, which passed it over a veto by then-Governor John Lynch.