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School Choice Bill Dies in New Hampshire

A bill that would have provided state-funded scholarships to families who send their children to private schools and who homeschool has died in the New Hampshire Legislature.

The measure, Senate Bill 193, passed the state Senate in 2017 but lost Thursday on what appears to be a final procedural vote in the state House of Representatives, 173-168, on a motion that would have sent the measure to a conference committee between the two chambers, according to The Union Leader.

Democrats in the House all voted against it, and were joined by enough of their colleagues in the Republican majority to defeat it. (Republicans have a 218-175 edge in the House.)

Opponents say the measure would hurt public education by siphoning off funds for public schools. Supporters, including Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, say the so-called “education freedom savings accounts” would allow kids from poor families to have some of the same educational opportunities that kids from richer families do.

The bill appears to be dead for this legislative session, which ends in early January 2019. Sununu, who made school choice a prominent part of his agenda, is running for re-election to a second two-year term as governor in November 2018.

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