Don’t Forget About Homeschoolers!
New Hampshire is one of 14 states that have implemented a tax credit scholarship program for students. Essentially, these programs give tax credits to people who donate to approved scholarship funds. Families can apply to use these scholarships to send their students to schools of their choice. So what is so unique about the program in New Hampshire? It is the only program that allows families to use these scholarships to homeschool their children.
In a new case study for the Show-Me Institute, Jason Bedrick notes that more than half the scholarships awarded in 2013 were used for homeschooling expenses. And the families who enrolled in the program were, for the most part, extremely pleased with the opportunity, more than 80 percent, in fact. Homeschool families also saw more academic improvement than their private school counterparts. They appreciated the fact that they were in control, that they were able to adjust the curriculum according to their children’s needs, and that they had more options for different or harder classes. Many of them mentioned that it helped strengthen family relationships.
I have nine siblings. When I was growing up, my parents wanted to make sure that my siblings and I received an education that met our individual needs. They explored public and private schools and each of us was homeschooled at one time or another. The beauty of homeschooling is that it allows parents to tailor the curriculum for their children. Additionally, homeschooling benefits the state because it saves taxpayers money. However, for families like mine, it can be financially difficult. That is why New Hampshire’s tax credit scholarship program is particularly interesting. It could enable more families to homeschool and benefit both families and the state.
As Missouri looks at options for expanding school choice and implementing tax credit scholarship programs, it should seriously consider expanding these to include homeschooling.