Watters introduces pre-K financing bill (Fosters)

CONCORD — State Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, has introduced legislation relative to pre-kindergarten education using "pay for success" financing.

"This (SB 503) bill gives communities an alternative method for funding pre-kindergarten, without putting the burden on the local school districts," Watters said in a statement following the Senate Education Committee public hearing on the bill. "The money would come from private investors who would then be reimbursed by the state if the program results in improved third-grade reading levels or reduces the cost of special education remedial services."

According to a press release from Watters, New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not mandate pre-kindergarten education. The first "pay for success" program was established in Utah in 2013 and has, according to Watters, proven effective at reducing the cost of special education services and saving the school districts money. The total savings in the first year of the Utah program was $281,550, the release said.

"I urge the Education Committee to support SB 503, as it is critical to expand access to quality education to our Granite State children," Watters said in a statement.