HB1634 (2024) Detail

Relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program.


HB 1634-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2024 SESSION

24-2801

12/10

 

HOUSE BILL 1634-FN

 

AN ACT relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. A. Lekas, Hills. 38

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill removes the household income criteria from eligibility requirements for the education freedom account program.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24-2801

12/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Education Freedom Accounts Program; Eligibility; Income Removed.  Amend RSA 194-F:1, VI to read as follows:

VI. "Eligible student" means a resident of this state who is eligible to enroll in a public elementary or secondary school [and whose annual household income at the time the student applies for the program is less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines as updated annually in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under 42 U.S.C. section 9902(2). No income threshold need be met in subsequent years, provided the student otherwise qualifies]. Students in the special school district within the department of corrections established in RSA 194:60 shall not be eligible students.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBA

24-2801

Revised 12/21/23

 

HB 1634-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to universal eligibility for the education freedom account program.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

Revenue Fund(s)

None

Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Funding Source(s)

Education Trust Fund

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] N/A

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] N/A

 

Estimated Political Subdivision Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Local Revenue

$0

Indeterminable

Local Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill eliminates the income requirement for eligibility for the education freedom account (EFA) program. As of November 2023, 4,552 students were in the EFA program with an annualized cost estimated at $23.8 million with the typically grant averaging to be $5,235 per student. The current average education grant to public district schools is $6,217, which includes cost for an adequate education and extraordinary needs grant.

 

The Department of Education states this bill will result in an indeterminable number of new students accessing the program. The following is information relative to the different situations in which a student may access the EFA program:

 

  • Students accessing the program by going from the non-public or home education systems and entering the EFA program would likely result in a grant of $5,235 for each student. The average grant size for these students would likely match the average grant provided to a district student. This would result in a net cost to the state as these students accessed the program through proposed removal of income requirements.

 

  • Students leaving a charter public school would have a net cost savings to the state of $4,365 to the state; $9,600 (current average charter school rate) – $5,235 (average EFA) = $4,365.

 

  • Student leaving a traditional district system would have a net cost to the state if the student left a community that had a statewide education property tax (SWEPT) grant in excess of the calculated cost of adequate education. This net cost would be $5,235 per student.

 

  • Students leaving a non-excess SWEPT community would see the adequacy grant go the EFA program for educating the student instead of the school district. This would result an approximate decrease of $982 ($6,217 - $5,235) in state adequacy grants, and a decrease in local revenues per student. This would also result in a net cost to the state due to the EFA phase-out grant being paid. The EFA phase-out grant compensates districts at a rate of 50 cents on the dollar in year one and 25 cents in year two, for the cost of an adequate education grant portion only ($5,248) for any student leaving the district and going to the EFA program. Therefore, this grant would cost on average $2,624 for each student leaving a district (50 percent of $5,248) in year one.

 

As students potentially leave traditional district schools and join the EFA program, districts may feel pressure to reduce their local expenditures to better fit the reduced population served. It is unknown the impact this would have on local expenditures, but this could potentially result in an indeterminable decrease.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Education

 

Links


Date Body Type
Jan. 17, 2024 House Hearing
Jan. 30, 2024 House Exec Session
Jan. 31, 2024 House Exec Session
Jan. 30, 2024 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1634 Revision: 40407 Date: Jan. 18, 2024, 4:25 p.m.

Docket


Feb. 8, 2024: Reconsider HB1634 (Rep. Weber): MF RC 188-193 02/08/2024 HJ 4


Feb. 8, 2024: Reconsider HB1634 (Rep. Weber): MF RC 188-193 02/08/2024 HJ 4


Feb. 8, 2024: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/08/2024 HJ 4


Feb. 8, 2024: Ought to Pass: MF RC 186-194 02/08/2024 HJ 4


Feb. 1, 2024: Committee Report: Without Recommendation 01/30/2024 (Vote 10-10; RC)


Jan. 25, 2024: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 01/31/2024 10:00 am LOB 205-207


Jan. 25, 2024: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 01/30/2024 10:00 am LOB 205-207


Jan. 5, 2024: Public Hearing: 01/17/2024 10:45 am LOB 205-207


Dec. 15, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Education HJ 1