Please register your support for HB 1652 – Education Freedom Accounts (EFA)

On Monday, January 22, 2024 the House Education Committee will be hearing an important school choice bill, HB 1652 “an act relative to establishing a local education freedom account program”, by Rep. Kevin Verville (R-Deerfield). This is enabling legislation, i.e. a program that a school district can choose to adopt. Please consider registering support on-line HERE or, if that option is unavailable, emailing the House Education Committee a brief message of support.

Currently, Education Freedom Accounts (EFAs) are available to students whose family earns no more than 350% of the poverty level ($105K for family of four). For this year (FY2024), students receive $4100 for tuition at the school of their choice, tutoring, online learning programs, educational supplies, and other educational expenses, in lieu of attending their local public school. $4,100 is the current per pupil state education base adequacy aid. Some students may qualify for additional aid via differentiated aid if they are a special education student ($2142), qualify for free or reduced price lunch ($2346), and/or are a English language learner ($800).

Rep. Verville’s bill is enabling legislation that allows any NH school district, by 3/5 majority vote, to adopt the local EFA program. If adopted, EFA students in that school district will get twice the base adequacy aid ($4100 x 2) plus the eligible differentiated aid, from the school district. For a student without differentiated aid, that would be $8200 from the school district. On Jan 10, 2022, NH Dept of Education reported the statewide cost per pupil is now $20,323 (link to Dept of Education Press Release). Note that is figure NOT an true all-in cost, because this cost does not include transportation and capital/debt service expenses, so the true all-in cost is certainly higher. In Brookline (PK-6), the total proposed FY25 cost per student is $21,262. In the HB COOP (7-12), the current FY24 total cost per student is $25,046 (FY25 proposed cost not yet available).

An average student who leaves the local public school and takes advantage of the EFA should save taxpayers at least $12,123 ($20,323 – $8,200). More students are likely to take advantage of EFAs if the local EFA program is adopted, increasing school choice options for students. Each school district can decide if the local EFA program is right for them–another important option for local governance of school districts.