January 13, 2014
AFT and AFT-New Hampshire Ask New Hampshire Supreme Court to Bar Scholarship Program from Using Money for Religious School Tuition
WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT-New Hampshire President Laura Hainey on an amicus brief filed today by the AFT, AFT-NH and NEA-New Hampshire asking the New Hampshire Supreme Court to uphold a lower-court decision barring the Education Tax Credit Program that provides money to students attending religious schools:
“Despite the attempts by the state Legislature to twist the scholarship program into a pretzel to try to make it appear constitutional, the New Hampshire Constitution prohibits public funds to religious institutions. The tax-credit law was really a subterfuge, a voucher-like effort in which public dollars eventually would find their way to private schools, most of which, in New Hampshire, are religious schools. Further, there is evidence from all over the country that these voucher-like programs don’t actually help children. If the Legislature genuinely is interested in helping, it should work with teachers on ensuring that public schools have the programs and services needed to help all students succeed, not just some.”
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.