Monday, September 28, 2015

Education Department Bullies Croydon Children

Education Department Bullies Croydon Children
The United States spends more than other countries on K-12 education. New Hampshire spends more than most states, and we are proud to do so. For the 2014-2015 school year, NH taxpayers spent $17,233.48 for every student in public elementary and secondary education. (

This is more than most private schools in NH charge. So the obvious question is: why should education choice be restricted to the wealthy? Why shouldn’t small town families have access to the best schools for their children… when it would cost less? Authors from Milton Friedman to Elizabeth Warren have asked this question.

The parents and school board of Croydon found a simple win-win answer.

Croydon uses tuition money to send their children to different schools after they attend the local elementary school. Most use public middle and high school in nearby Newport, but five students attend a private Montessori school. The cost is $8200 per Montessori student. The students are doing well, and property taxpayers suffering less.

Education Commissioner Virginia Barry has had the Attorney General hit the town’s children with an injunction. But not in spring, back when Croydon notified the state of the plan. No, she bided her time until now, after the children had already settled in to their school. Our tax dollars are being used to bully children out of school in the middle of a term.

Precedent and statute are clear; many towns in NH already send their students to private school. There is no statute mandating mediocre education. Croydon Board of Education’s lawyer, ex-State Supreme Court Justice Charles Douglas, will have a solid case.

I have contributed to the Croydon legal defense crowdfunding site ( ). I hope you will do so as well. The only way to end bureaucratic bullying is to stand up to the bullies.

Bill Walker 
Bill Walker lives in Plainfield. His mother was a public-school teacher who sent him to private school.

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