Options for Small Towns
New Hampshire has numerous small towns that do not provide in-district education for their entire student population, and there is a rich variety of ways they provide educational options. The Granite Institute recently published a white paper about these various options, called How New Hampshire Provides Small Towns with Access to Schools. It is authored by Dr. Jody Underwood, also a member of the Croydon School Board, and research associate, Catherine Konieczny.
Just as education isn’t one-size-fits-all for children, there isn’t one perfect option for all small towns.
Although the hot topic has been town tuitioning in general, and the Croydon school choice program specifically, there are several other options for small towns that are explored in this paper.
Researchers found that roughly 28% of NH’s school districts do not directly provide education for all of their K-12 students. That number jumps considerably to 46% if cooperative school districts are included. This means that school choice has a much greater impact across the state than previously believed.
The paper’s conclusion is also very interesting. It seems that the state Department of Education is not only interfering with the Croydon program, but also with towns pursuing withdrawals. We concur with the authors that ultimately it is up to the parents and taxpayers – not the state – to determine what is the best way to provide an education for their students.