AFT-NH Supports Education Funding Lawsuit

AFT-NH Supports Education Funding Lawsuit

CONCORD, N.H.— Yesterday in Superior Court a lawsuit was filed once again challenging the way that New Hampshire funds our local public schools. It is unfortunate that the New Hampshire legislature continues to underfund our schools leaving the local property taxpayers most of the tab to ensure children in their community can receive an education that will allow them to thrive. We know that in property-poor communities this means that the burdens on taxpayers can become overwhelming and schools are not able to provide their students with as many opportunities.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-21 (End of Session Edition)

June 24, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

In each biennium of the New Hampshire Legislature an issue is identified early that will be the focus of both the House and Senate. This year it became very clear immediately after Republicans took control of both chambers that the issue they were going to focus on was public education. There have been bills to control what can be taught and how teachers and students talk about it. There have been bills to take tax money from supporting the learning of all students attending public schools and divert it so a few students could attend private schools or programs. There have been many bills to limit the authority of locally elected school boards because partisan activists did not like the responses they were getting from these locally elected officials. This, as we know, did not happen in a vacuum. Public education has become a political issue nationally with everything from misinformation to disinformation to outright lies being used to rally a political base at the expense of our children’s education.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-20

Strong finish to the Legislative Session

HB 1431 Defeated

May 27, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

WE DID IT! In a victory for our students, this week we officially defeated HB 1431 in the House. Schools will remain a place where LGBTQ+ kids can have conversations with trusted adults and where they can feel safe having those conversations. The session is now done, and it was a great way to end it! 13 Republicans joined with all the Democrats and the two independents in the House to defeat the bill. The language we heard from opponents of this bill was truly disturbing, to put it mildly, but in the end, it was great to see this bill defeated.

With the session now over, we turn our attention to candidate filing. The New Hampshire House needs strong supporters of public education. If you are interested in running for office, you should contact President Deb Howes at president@aft-nh.org  and we can help with the process. The filing period opens on the 1st and closes on the 10th.  We really do need you to step up for your communities and our schools and run for office.

As we said above the session is now over. The end of the school year is just 3 weeks away. We hope everyone can take a break this summer and recharge. You have certainly all earned it.

Statement from AFT-NH on the tragedy in Uvalde, TX

AFT-NH President Howes issued the following statement on the tragic events in Uvalde, TX

“AFT-NH is heartbroken by the incomprehensible violence that took 19 precious students and 2 educators in Uvalde, TX yesterday. We offer our profound condolences to the families of the students and educators lost, as well as the whole community that is struggling to understand what happened. Those children were in a place where they should have been safe, learning together, laughing together, counting down the hours to the end of the school year. They should have gone home at the end of the day to their families who love them. Those families will now mourn for them, along with their school community and a town that are forever changed. We cannot accept that this kind of violence is the price of freedom. Children have a right to live and grow up. We mourn with the families and school community of Uvalde but also demand better solutions from our lawmakers at all levels so that our schools can be safe places for our students and educators."

###

NH Educators and Parents File New Court Brief in Banned Concepts Lawsuit

CONCORD, N.H. – The broad coalition of educators, advocacy groups, and law firms challenging the state’s ‘banned concepts’ law filed on Friday a new court brief objecting to the state’s attempt to dismiss the case. The brief highlights consistent and renewed concerns that the law discourages public school teachers from teaching and talking about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity in the classroom. The current case before the Court consolidates two lawsuits, one filed by educators Andres Mejia and Tina Kim Philibotte and National Education Association – New Hampshire, and one from the American Federation of Teachers.

 Andres Mejia and Tina Kim Philibotte, both New Hampshire school administrators for diversity, equity, and inclusion, are among the plaintiffs in the case represented by ACLU-NH, and argue that the vague law is an unconstitutional chill on educator’s voices that prevents students from having an open and complete dialogue about the perspectives of historically marginalized communities.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, (2022-019)

May 20, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

Despite the objections of a high-ranking member of their own party, House Republican leadership pushed the Parental Bill of Rights, which clearly is NH’s “Don’t Say Gay at School” through the Committee of Conference. HB 1431, would force teachers and school staff to disclose to parents any information that students share at school about their gender identity, if they join an inclusive club or even if they ask to be called by a different name or pronoun. If HB1431 becomes law, it will endanger the mental health, safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth in NH. We must continue to speak out against this bill to try and stop it. The full NH House and Senate must vote May 26th on whether to accept the Committee of Conference result.