NH and Virginia Add Voucher ProgramsPosted 29 June 2012 by K12Reboot
New Hampshire and Virginia became the latest states to offer greater school choice for lower-income students, with both enacting tax-credit scholarship programs this week. In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the act into law. In New Hampshire, the legislature adopted a scholarship plan by overriding Gov. John Lynch’s veto.
Under tax-credit scholarship programs, government provides tax credits to individuals and corporations that donate to nonprofits, which, in turn, distribute scholarships for students to attend private schools. Virginia and New Hampshire now join Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island as states that offer such programs. Usually, students must be from low-income families and/or attending low-performing schools, to receive such scholarships. In some cases, the scholarships are adequate to pay tuition at certain private schools, but in most cases, parents must supplement the scholarships with other funds.
The New Hampshire and Virginia programs both set eligibility at 300 percent of the federal poverty level (or $69,150 for a family of four). New Hampshire’s scholarships cannot exceed $2,500 on average, whereas Virginia’s will be worth the amount the state pays for a student to attend public school, which differs by school district.