In 2012, the New Hampshire legislature passed the Opportunity Scholarship Act, establishing tax credits for donations from businesses to scholarship organizations to allow low- and moderate-income families to choose the schools that best fit their children’s needs. Under the act, Education Tax Credit scholarships can be used by children attending private schools, out-of-district public schools, and homeschools.
On January 1, 2013, the Network for Educational Opportunity (NEO) became the first scholarship organization eligible to administer Education Tax Credit scholarships. During the 2013-14 school year, NEO received more than 1,000 applications and awarded scholarships worth $128,000 to 103 New Hampshire students. In its first three years of managing Education Tax Credit scholarships, NEO helped 205 New Hampshire children using scholarships worth more than $300,000.
On January 1, 2016, the Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire took over the administration of the Education Tax Credit scholarships formerly managed by NEO. Kate Baker, NEO’s Executive Director, became a CSF employee.
CSF is a national organization with a network of partner programs, each providing scholarships that empower parents to choose schools they otherwise could not afford. Since its inception in 1998, CSF has awarded more than $934 million in scholarships to the families of 191,500 low-income children.
In June 2021, the New Hampshire legislature passed the Education Freedom Accounts (EFA) program, and Governor Sununu signed it into law as part of the new state budget. The EFA program allows families with incomes up to 300 percent of the poverty level to direct a portion of the funds spent by the state for their child’s education to private school tuition, online learning programs, and other educational expenses as they choose. On August 4th, 2021, CSF was selected by the NH Department of Education and confirmed by the NH Executive Council to administer the just passed Education Freedom Accounts program for the 2021-22 school year.