April 23, 2013
Good morning! We're the Callum Family from Unity, NH. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who voted to table HB 370, with a very close vote, may I add. My two children and myself had the opportunity to sit in on one of the hearings at the state house, regarding HB 370 last month. I ended up speaking at that hearing and gave my opinion as to why our family was not supporting HB 370. I was very nervous to speak, but I did what I felt was the right thing to do.
To make a long story short, our children Michael, age 13 and Savanna, age 11, have always attended public school. For many years, our two children were falling behind, falling between the cracks and feeling like they were just being pushed on. Our daughter, had a minor IEP in reading & many times did NOT receive her daily services because her para educator had to sit with a troubled student, who was causing a ruckus in the class room.
We and our families' are ALL graduates of a public school, but since then, many things have changed. It was a VERY difficult decision for us to make, but my husband and I decided NOT to send our children back to the public school they attended for years, but to send them to a private school. Sending them to a private school meant that now we have a tuition bill to pay and are also are still paying for a public education, in our taxes, that has failed us. This year, has really been hard on us and having to pay for our children to attend a private school is a BIG hardship. Some weeks, we barely have enough money to buy groceries or put gas in our vehicles. I know this is our CHOICE, but as parents, we need to do what is right for our children.
To update you on how Michael and Savanna are now doing and give you an idea of what a difference their private school has made for them: Michael went in as your average "B-C" student and has ended his third quarter being on the honor roll with A's and B's. Savanna went in as your below average "C-F" student and has ended the third quarter with no grade below a 72 and receiving all B's and C's, which is a PLUS for her!
We feel that justice has prevailed, in the Education Tax Credit, and given us, NH residents, the right to make a CHOICE as to where our children will receive their education. As we have learned, at times public school is NOT the right choice for every student and some students may need a different education, that is dialed in for them, as an individual.
We would also, like to take the time to thank those of you who voted for HB 370, even though we did NOT agree with your opinion. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us and for giving us the opportunity to speak.
The Callum Family,
Todd, Heather, Michael, & Savanna