What you need to know about education freedom accounts in New Hampshire
Answers to frequently asked questions about an education model that respects New Hampshire families while giving every child access to a high-quality education.
No matter their background, every child in New Hampshire deserves equal access to a great education. And New Hampshire parents deserve the power to give their child the education that best suits their individual needs.
Education freedom accounts, or EFAs – commonly referred to as education savings accounts – deliver on both of those promises for New Hampshire families.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about EFAs in New Hampshire:
How do EFAs work?
Education freedom accounts are grants that empower New Hampshire families to direct their child’s state education funding to learning experiences that fit their child’s unique needs. Each school year, the state will automatically deposit grant funds into parents’ accounts, which they can then use on a wide variety of education expenses for their children.
Who would receive an EFA?
Introduced Jan. 13, House Bill 20 would establish EFAs for all New Hampshire students. Every student who is a resident of New Hampshire and eligible to enroll in a public elementary or secondary school is eligible – regardless of their ZIP code, income status or background.
What can parents pay for with an EFA?
Different students have different needs and one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why EFAs can be used for many education or learning expenses – both inside and outside the classroom. Parents have total control to pay for things like:
- Additional online education programs
- Tuition at a school of their choice
- Textbooks or other instructional materials
- College courses
- Laptops, tablets and other computer hardware
- Internet hotspots and connectivity
- Education software
- Standardized test fees
How much grant money is deposited into the EFA?
EFAs redirect the state portion of K-12 per-pupil funding, which is about $4,600 on average. The grant can total up to nearly $8,300 if the student is eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, is a special education student who has an individualized education plan, or has other special needs.
Who supports EFAs?
New Hampshire parents strongly back EFAs – with broad support across racial groups, education levels, income and party affiliation. Morning Consult polling conducted in 2020 showed 71% of Granite Staters supported EFAs. In 2017, polling of registered voters showed overwhelming support for EFAs among New Hampshire school parents (+49 percentage points), low-income earners (+40), Democrats (+16) and Republicans (+37).
Have EFAs been tried before?
Students across five states are receiving EFA money today, including in Arizona (since 2011), Florida (2013), Mississippi (2015), Tennessee (2015) and North Carolina (2017).
How do EFAs affect taxpayers?
The New Hampshire Department of Education estimates EFAs would save between $360 million and $393 million in taxpayer money over the next 10 years.
Why should Granite Staters support EFAs?
Every New Hampshire child deserves a fair shot to succeed, no matter their background, their family’s income, or where they’re from. The best way to educate one child won’t necessarily work for another, which is why it’s crucial that families have the freedom to choose from a wide range of educational programs and providers.
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