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School Choice Bill Endorsed By N.H. House Committee

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill cleared a major hurdle in the State House Tuesday, receiving a positive recommendation from the House Education Committee on Tuesday by a 10-9 vote.

The bill would allow parents of some children to spend tax dollars to educate their children with non-public school options like private school or home school. But the bill looks considerably different than when it was originally introduced several months ago.

There are now restrictions on which students would be eligible for the money, changing what was once envisioned as a universal program into a targeted one.

There is also new spending in the bill designed to protect public schools from a potential loss of revenue from students who transfer out.

Republican representative Rick Ladd is chair of the committee. He argued the bill would give students another option.

“Everybody at this table has admitted it at one time or another, that we do have some schools in this state that aren’t the cutting the mustard, that are failing.”

The bill still has a long road ahead before becoming law. Its next test will be a vote by the full House of Representatives, likely some time in January.

The version voted on by members of the House Education Committee on Tuesday is below.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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