Education
5:45 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Education Tax Credit Challenge To Be Heard In N.H. Supreme Court

N.H. Supreme Court building in Concord
Credit Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether it’s constitutional to give tax credits to businesses that donate to private scholarship funds. The program in question has been hamstrung by a lower court ruling.

Only one organization has awarded scholarship under the law, which began last year, and because of a ruling last spring in the Strafford County Superior court, the Network for Education has not been able to give any scholarships to religious schools. The judge ruled that because donors to the organization were given tax credits, the scholarship dollars amounted to public money.

The case now goes before the Supreme Court.

The NEO will argue that money subtracted from tax receipts is not the same as public funds expended through the state budget.

So far the Network for Education has given out $128,000 dollars for scholarships to 103 students. 13 of those students were from public schools, and received the lion’s share of the scholarship dollars.

The program's critics, which include Governor Maggie Hassan, have equated it to a school voucher scheme. It passed in 2012 over then Governor Lynch’s veto.