One Child at a Time

Ken Gorrellby Ken Gorrell,
Weirs Times Contributing Writer

How many times have you heard some group promoting a cause by saying, “It’s for the children”? Sadly, too often children take a back seat to the cause. That’s not the case with NH’s education tax credit (ETC) scholarship program. By providing families with meaningful choice in education, these scholarships are making real and life-changing differences in children’s lives.
Survey responses by families helped by these means-tested scholarships are at once heart-warming and heartbreaking:
– “My daughter is excelling academically and is feeling safe. No more bullying.”
– “My child is doing the best academically that she has ever done. We have also seen social improvement since attending her new school.”
– “I feel like the private school saved my daughter. After being bullied and harassed so severely in public school I made the choice to move her, no matter the sacrifices I had to make to afford it.”
– “With the help of this scholarship program we were able to have a more manageable tuition payment so that our son was able to go to this school. We thank you for this opportunity.”
– “Our family is both helped and encouraged by the investment in our homeschooled student. Just a small scholarship has made schooling easier.”
– “My daughter was having trouble in class at public school. The teachers were labeling her and testing her for disabilities. It was frustrating as they did not involve me in the process. The teachers at the private school work with each child as they are, without labeling. The teacher communicates with me and understands no two people are alike. I am very happy with my daughter’s progress!”
The survey is filled with stories of transformation. From “struggling,” “hated school,” “no choice,” and “dread,” to “confident,” “right path,” “thriving,” and “flourishing.” Overwhelmingly, parents are happier with the schools they choose and are seeing improvements in their children’s academic achievement and sense of self-worth.
“Investing in education” has become a buzz-phrase that often doesn’t include the key decision maker: Parents. Parents are the rightful stewards of their children’s preparation for life. But too many parents lack the financial resources to exercise their freedom to choose the best educational options for their children. Education tax credit scholarships can make the difference between merely “getting by” and doing well. How can you be part of this miracle? It’s easy, and now is the time to step up and invest in the future of New Hampshire, one child at a time
Through the ETC program, businesses large and small can receive a substantial 85% tax credit when voluntarily directing some of their pre-tax profits to private, non-profit scholarship organizations. When combined with the federal tax deduction, total tax savings are about 90%. Scholarship organizations provide money to help educate children from families earning up to 300% of the poverty level, reducing inequalities inherent in our Zip Code-based public school assignment system while giving business leaders some control over how their profits are spent.
Education Tax Credits are awarded to businesses January through June on a first-come, first-served basis until the cap in credits is reached. Scholarship organizations and tax professionals can assist businesses on completing the application.
Parents have a personal stake in their children’s education, and businesses have a stake in developing the future workforce. But having a stake doesn’t always translate into being able to take action. The Education Tax Credit program empowers parents and business leaders to achieve their common goal of preparing children for success as adults. Harnessing the power of this “dynamic duo” is the win-win scenario many of our children need to reach their potential, and in so doing, help all of us achieve ours.
Hundreds of hopeful families have applied for scholarships for the coming school year. Will you help children in your community receive the lifetime benefit of the right education? If you own a business, donate. If you know business owners, ask if they’ve donated. It’s an investment that truly is “for the children.”

Ken can be reached at kengorrell@gmail.com