2017 NH State House News

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AFT-NH CALL TO ACTION-STOP SCHOOL VOUCHERS

Stop the effort to divert money from public schools to private schools, home schoolers and others.  We need to protect public education. SB 193 is a voucher bill under the guise of “Education Freedom Savings Accounts”.  A hearing before the House Education Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 4th at 10:00am at the Legislative Office Building, Room 207, 33 North State Street, Concord, NH. 

Please Support Public Education

Defeat SB 193

 

Stop School Vouchers

Stop the effort to divert money from public schools to private schools, home schoolers and others.  We need to protect public education. SB 193 is a voucher bill under the guise of “Education Freedom Savings Accounts”.  

Each school district receives $3,560 +/- for each student enrolled in K-12. This bill would divert 90% of that amount to an account for a child who attends any private school, charter school or for home-schooling expenses. Another 5% in administrative expenses can be diverted to the administration of the “scholarship account”.

This bill will cause a significant impact on local property taxpayers as money is diverted away from funding our public schools and into a system with little or no accountability.

A hearing before the House Education Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 4th at 10:00am at the Legislative Office Building, Room 207, 33 North State Street, Concord, NH.

Please attend the hearing and show your opposition. If you do not wish to testify, you can sign a card showing your opposition.

If you are unable to attend, you can email the full House Education Committee directly at HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.

For more resources on this issue, please visit our web site at:

http://nh.aft.org/2017-nh-state-house-news#

 

For breaking news, follow us on Facebook at AFT New Hampshire or Twitter  @AFTNewHampshire.

Stop School Vouchers in NH

NO to SB 193 and HB 647

The most controversial educational issue currently in front of the NH Legislature is that of vouchers.  This bill would have a serious impact on our public schools. SB 193, falsely labeled as “Education Freedom Savings Accounts” would establish a full-blown voucher system in NH, taking taxpayer money and placing it in individual accounts for parents to expend at any charter, private or religious school.   Money going to these savings accounts are in all practical terms are vouchers. This is taxpayer money dedicated for public education, which is funneled away from public schools and into the private sector, creating subsidies for a small portion of the population and imposing greater burdens on the majority.  Update: SB 193 has passed the Nh Senate and is now being considered before the NH House Education Committee. For resources to fight vouchers, click more.

How to Contact Your Legislator

During this legislative session, there will be the need to contact our state senators and state representatives. Here is the information you will need to determine who represents you and how to contact them whether it be by email, regular mail or phone.

To contact your State Senator, please click WHO'S MY SENATOR? and enter the city or town where you reside. Once you have determined who is your state senator, go to the SENATE ROSTER to find out how to contact the senator.

To contact your State Representative, please click  WHO'S MY LEGISLATOR? and enter the city or town where you reside.

 

Suggestions:  Legislators receive a lot of email and personalized emails will resonate with them. Emails should be short and succinct. If you are signed up for the AFT-NH Legislative Bulletins or visit this website at least weekly, you will see the specific information about a bill. You should be clear to your representative how you are asking them to vote on a bill. For example, you can ask them to oppose Senate Bill 11 or vote Inexpedient to Legislate. If you are asking for positive action, you can ask a legislator to support a bill or vote Ought to Pass.

 

Make sure your voice is heard this legislative session.

 

AFT-NH POSITION STATEMENT IN OPPOSITION TO SENATE BILL 193

FOR SUBMISSION TO SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE- February 7, 2017

Senate Bill 193 proposes an  “Education Freedom Savings Account” which is almost identical to model legislation prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council. This bill does not have its roots in  New Hampshire and does not focus on the more than 180,000 students in our public schools and the devastating impact such legislation would have on their needs.

This bill is a voucher bill, couched in other language, and would result in the privatization and outsourcing of our cherished published education system.

There is a complete lack of transparency and accountability with this proposed legislation.  The impact on our local school districts and property taxpayers would be severe.

AFT-NH opposes Senate Bill 193 and any such legislation.  Our work should be focused on supporting our public schools and adequately funding our local school districts and providing property tax relief to our cities and towns by fully funding the obligations of the State of New Hampshire.

Attached for your use is a report from the American Federation of Teachers, our national organization, entitled, Education Savings Accounts: Vouchers That Stop at the Bank En Route to Privatizing Education.

 

AFT-NH on Confirmation of Frank Edelblut for Commissioner of Education

                                                AFT-NH Statement on Confirmation of Frank Edelblut for Commissioner of Education

Bow, NH     FEBRUARY 15, 2017

AFT-NH President Douglas Ley released the following statement on the confirmation of  Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education.

AFT-NH President Doug Ley Testimony on Nomination of Frank Edelblut as NH Education Commissioner

The NH Executive Council held a public hearing on the nomination of Frank Edelblut as NH Commissioner of Education. AFT-NH President Doug Ley appeared and presented AFT-NH opposition to this nomination. He also was questioned by members of the Executive Council.  He also submitted written testimony from Nashua Teachers' Union President Adam Marcoux. It was a lengthy hearing and now the next step is for the five member Executive Council to vote on the nomination.

Doug Ley Testimony

Adam Marcoux Written Testimony

AFT-NH BILL WATCH LIST- January 30, 2017

AFT-NH has reviewed all bills that have been filed as of this date and selected those bills of interest to our members. These bills have been reviewed by our Legislative Committee and we have assigned our current position on these bills as Support (S), Oppose (O) or Monitor (M). You can review the full text of the bill by clicking on the bill number. Please stay tuned for our weekly Legislative Bulletin for updates and requests for member action. 

 

Minimum Wage Bill Presented to House Labor Committee (HB 115)

State Representative and AFT-NH President Doug Ley is the prime sponsor of HB 115, “Establishing a state minimum wage and providing for adjustments to the minimum wage”.  The legislation presented today would re-establish a NH minimum wage exceeding that set by the Federal Government, which has remained at $7.25/hour since 2009.  

AFT-NH ‘Lesson Plan’ on Frank Edelblut

 

NH Students Deserve a Commissioner of Education Who Is QUALIFIED and SUPPORTS Public Education 

 

UPDATE: The public hearing on the Edelblut nomination will be on Tuesday, January 31st at 1pm at the State House in the Executive Council Chambers.

AFT-NH  ‘Lesson Plan’ on Frank Edelblut

Objectives

  • Determine if the nominee for Education Commissioner is qualified to serve the 180,000+ public school students in NH;
  • Advise fellow citizens how to have their voices heard on the Edelblut nomination

 

Background

  • Governor Sununu has nominated Frank Edelblut to be the next NH Commissioner of Education.
  • Mr. Edelblut served as a state representative for one term and then ran for  Governor.
  • Frank Edelblut ran in the republican primary against Gov. Sununu and lost by 800 votes.
  • Mr. Edelblut has no background in education.
  • Mr. Edelblut has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies. He attended K-12 public school.
  • He home-schooled his 7 children.
  • His work experience includes Price Waterhouse Coopers, Niagara Corporation and his own business, Control Solutions International.
  • He supports school choice in all forms such as private, charter, religious, public schools, and home-school.  As a legislator,  he supported school choice legislation.
  • He has never served on a local school board. He did serve on the Water Commission in the Town of Wilton.

 

What is the job of the Education Commissioner?

  •  Department of Education Responsibilities

 21-N:2 Establishment; General Functions. – 
    I. There is hereby established the department of education, an agency of the state under the  executive direction of a commissioner of education
    II. The department of education, through its officials, shall be responsible for the following   general functions: 
       (a) Providing general supervision for elementary and secondary schools, teachers and administrators. 
       (b) Providing a variety of educational services to schools and particular groups. 
       (c) Providing vocational rehabilitation and social security disability determination services for persons with disabilities.

 

  • RSA 21-N:3, I  states in relevant part, “…The commissioner and deputy commissioner shall be qualified to hold their positions by reason of education and experience.” 
     
  • The specific duties of the Commissioner of Education are outlined in law at RSA 21-N:4  Duties of Commissioner. The Commissioner needs to be qualified  in order to efficiently and effectively run the NH Department of Education and support our schools across the state.

 

Who approves the nomination of Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education?

The five elected members of the NH Executive Council.  The vote could occur as soon as February 1st.

 

AFT-NH OPPOSES THE NOMINATION OF FRANK EDELBLUT.

NH STUDENTS, PARENTS AND TEACHERS DESERVE BETTER.

 

                                                                      You can express your opinion about this nomination by sending an email to all five Executive Councilors at gcweb@nh.gov.