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Mark Fernald on Education

Former Democratic NH Governor


Vouchers create unfair competition for public schools

The school voucher bill would have allowed private schools to receive public funds, charge tuition, & avoid the minimum standards applicable to public schools. Schools receiving vouchers would be allowed to select their students, & reject those they do not wish to educate, so long as they do not discriminate against students needing special education.

This unfair competition between public & private schools would lead to predictable results. For example, a private school could choose to omit physical education, transportation and the school nurse. With the money saved, it could offer smaller class size and enrichment programs.

The public school would be unable to respond to this competitive challenge by offering a similar program because of state standards. The public school would decline as students and money flowed out, encouraging more parents to pull out. Our ideal of universal public education, providing equal opportunity to all, regardless of class, race, or income, would be in shreds.

Source: Campaign web site, www.MarkFernald.com "Issues" Sep 9, 2002

Charter schools ok, with public rules & non-religious

Charter schools cannot charge tuition, but they are free of state regulation and the local public school districts must pay their special education costs.

I can visualize a charter school that receives funding equal to the per pupil cost of the public school; where the charter school must accept all who apply without charging tuition; and where the charter school must meet the same requirements and standards as public schools, including special education. This would be fair competition. It is far different from the vouchers plans offered by Republicans. (Please note that sectarian schools cannot participate in any charter school program because the New Hampshire constitution forbids the use of public funds for religious schools.)

Source: Campaign web site, www.MarkFernald.com "Issues" Sep 9, 2002

Other governors on Education: Mark Fernald on other issues:
AK Frank Murkowski
AL Bob Riley
AR Mike Huckabee
AZ Janet Napolitano
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO Bill Owens
CT Jodi Rell
DE Ruth Ann Minner
FL Jeb Bush
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HI Linda Lingle
IA Tom Vilsack
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IL Rod Blagojevich
IN Mitch Daniels
KS Kathleen Sebelius
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ME John Baldacci
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