CONCORD, NH — More than 1,600 children throughout New Hampshire have been approved for Education Freedom Accounts, and the New Hampshire Department of Education is pleased to announce that the first round of funding from the Children’s Scholarship Fund NH will be available to eligible families this month.
“This is a true milestone for New Hampshire, especially since the pandemic created a clear demand for new and expansive educational options. Education Freedom Accounts provide families with the flexibility to thrive while using customized learning, tutoring services, career schools, technical schools, homeschooling, and non-public and private schools to enhance and personalize academic experiences,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education.
Manchester has the largest number of families enrolled throughout the state, with 166 students receiving Education Freedom Accounts, followed by Nashua with 64 students enrolled, Rochester with 52 students, Laconia with 52 and Concord with 46,
Education Freedom Accounts allow eligible New Hampshire students to direct state-funded per-pupil education adequacy grants toward select educational programming of their choice for a variety of learning experiences. There are currently 1,635 children enrolled in the EFA program that is offering grants totaling $8,096,903.
The first round of funding will be available in digital wallet accounts this month. Among the 1,635 current participants, 88 of those enrolled are special education students, 81 are English Language Learners and 879 are eligible for free and reduced lunches.
“New Hampshire families in need are grateful and relieved the state legislature enacted Education Freedom Accounts for low- and moderate-income children, and sincerely thank NHDOE for the innovation and responsiveness it has shown in implementing the new program in record time,” said Kate Baker Demers, executive director of Children’s Scholarship Fund NH, the charity organization that is administering accounts for this school year. “Other states that passed similar programs are all launching next fall while here, in New Hampshire, NHDOE is working to meet the immediate and urgent needs of children. They have truly empowered New Hampshire families, and as quickly as possible, to get the education that is best suited to their children’s unique learning needs.”
Edelblut is expected to present an update to the EFA Oversight Committee on Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. at the State House in Concord.