This was passed on to me by a concerned citizen – actually, an outraged citizen. If this letter checks out (and nothing that I have found thus far leads me to think contrary to it), we see one level of taxpayer funded government (a local SAU Superintendent) electioneering against a proposed law that taxpayers have requested. Is his school system doing so well that he can turn his visage outward? Or, is this really more of the entitlement mentality we are now seeing everywhere: hey, that’s MY money!!! How DARE you take my entitlement to taxpayer money and give it to someone other than me!! Don’t you know who we are?
Paid to lobby against you on your dime! As my friend Doug said when we caught our taxpayer funded Superintendent getting ready to electioneer to a meeting of senior citizens (sponsored by the taxpayer funded Parks N Rec department on the topic of “why a tax cap would be bad for the School District): “LEAVE THE POLITICKING TO THE POLITICIANS!” In other words, the School Board should have done it – not a supposedly neutral employee.
This seems, more and more, to be the norm among the Public-Educational-Industrial Complex (which is larger, financially, than the Military-Industrial Complex) rather than what is best for the kids. Remember too, the mentality seems to also be that they know better what is best for your kids.
April 12, 2012
Senator Nancy Stiles
Chair Senate Education Committee
Legislative Office Building
33 North State Street
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Senator Stiles:
Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the hearing on HB 1607 on April 17, 2012 due to work related responsibilities. Thus, I would greatly appreciate it if this correspondence could be entered into the record as my testimony in opposition to that bill.
I would like to make several points in regard to my opposition to the bill though there are for me a number of additional philosophical and legal issues for my opposition. I will for the purposes of brevity focus on downshifting of costs to local taxpayers and accountability.
As the bill is written, students leaving a school district would in essence take their State money with them. One student less in a classroom or a grade level would not reduce the fixed costs for a school or a school district. The loss of the student would not change fixed costs such as staffing, heating, transportation, etc. Thus, the $3,450 loss in State aid would have to be made up by local taxpayers. To expand the above concept, if three to five students were to leave the district at each grade level, the district would lose upwards of a quarter of a million dollars with no reduction in fixed costs; creating a downshift to the local taxpayers of that sizeable sum of money. In essence, the local tax base would be subsidizing private school education. Tax revenue from business taxes under this plan would be reduced. This does not make sense particularly in a time when the State has already reduced its funding of catastrophic aid as well as vocational tuition and transportation aid adding to the financial burden at the local level; let alone the potential impact of pending court action regarding the retirement system and proposed legislation regarding same.
Too, it should be noted, there is no prohibition in either tax credit bill prohibiting the utilization of these “scholarships” for out-of-state private or religious schools.
In summary, the equation is simple: LR (Less Revenue) + FC (Fixed Costs) = DLTP (Downshifting to Local Tax Payers).
- Accountability (Educational/Financial)
With all due respect to the sponsors, a three (3) question survey to the parents is not an accountability plan for a scholarship that amounts to the equivalent of over 70% of an individual student’s adequacy aid. The “plan” lacks any method for judging student progress, school performance or financial accountability. This “accountability plan” aside from its lack of educational and financial accountability has no assurance that the schools receiving these “tax dollars” will comply with all appropriate federal and state laws and regulations (i.e. non-discrimination, 504, etc.).
Thus, in conclusion, the “tax credit bills” will downshift costs to local taxpayers, increasing local property taxes; and does not provide any legitimate form of accountability either educational or financial; as well as having the potential of sending tax dollars via the State and local taxpayers to out-of-state private and religious schools.
Please consider these arguments against the “tax credit bill(s) and vote no.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this important matter.
Nathan S. Greenberg
Superintendent of Schools
cc: Londonderry School Board
Senator Sharon Carson
Representative Alfred Baldasaro
Representative James Headd
Representative Karen Hutchinson
Representative Robert Introne
Representative David Lundgren
Representative Betsy McKinney
Representative Sherman Packard
Representative Daniel Tamburello
Representative Stella Tremblay