Equal opportunity for all children
This new case study of the New Hampshire scholarship tax credit program shows overwhelming parental and student support for the program. Below is a testimonial from the Burke family. I don't think anyone could read what the Burkes have to say and go on opposing school choice. It's a matter of fairness.
"Being the proud parents of twins (later in life), we have experienced the full spectrum of public education. Our daughter was blessed with exceptional intellect and spent years in elementary school not understanding why she had to conform to the pace of her other classmates. Our son was learning at a non-typical pace and was diagnosed as 'learning disabled' in the second grade.
"As parents with limited financial resources we had no choice but to accept the mandates of our public school system. Yet, as parents who questioned the lack of alternative educational options for our children, through due diligence, we were able to locate a small independent school for our daughter that had a most generous scholarship program. Even with this, we had to make major financial sacrifices to allow her to attend.
"Her twin brother continued in public school through junior high and started his freshman year at a large regional high school. Even though he received the available support from the Special Education Department, he was overwhelmed. After having struggled through his first year, he begged us not to send him back for his sophomore year.
"His Individual Education Plan prepared by the Special Education Department stated that he needed the benefit of 'hands-on' education. Unfortunately, the regional school could not provide this. Again we searched for him and found a small independent school that would work within our financial abilities. During his first year, he flourished. He became confident and realized he could do as well as others as a result of the hands-on methods of his new school.
"Everything looked so promising. However, things took a turn for the worse as a result of an industrial accident that left me disabled and our financial condition became dire. We knew that we would not be able to send the twins to their respective schools and dreaded the thought of having to explain it to them.
"We desperately sought funding options yet conventional bank loans were out of the question. During our search for a remedy, we discovered the scholarship program that the Network for Educational Opportunity offers and promptly applied. We have been most fortunate to have been awarded scholarships for the twins that allowed us to work out financial arrangements with their schools, allowing them both to complete their senior year.
"The twins have flourished at their respective schools. Our daughter has obtained high honors and plans to be a veterinarian. Our son has become a respected member of the student body and is well liked by his fellow students and faculty. He plans to be a writer and is already completing his first novel with the support and encouragement of the school.
"We hope that readers will help in any way they can to allow others in need of financial assistance to allow others the opportunity to find the best educational opportunities for their children."