AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2019-05

The NH Legislature is in a momentary lull, having just survived “crossover,” the deadline date by which bills must be acted on in order to move across to the other branch of the legislature.  On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, the House considered over 150 bills.  Approximately one-half were on the Consent Calendar with unanimous or almost unanimous bipartisan committee recommendations to pass or defeat.  Unless a bill is removed from the Consent Calendar, the House then takes one vote to “approve the Consent Calendar,” after which all the bills still on it are passed or defeated as recommended.  So, it is a short-cut, avoiding unnecessary delay in considering what are often minor or duplicative bills.

AFT launches massive national campaign to fund public education

The AFT’s long-time advocacy for public schools has just been turbo-charged, with a sweeping, multi-pronged campaign to fund the future of American public education. Amid the continuing wave of teacher activism shining a spotlight on massive shortfalls in education investment, the Fund Our Future initiative aims to take the teachers’ megaphone into Congress, statehouses and communities nationwide.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2019-04

March 3, 2019 ~ Bow, NH

It may have been vacation week for NH students, but the NH House was hard at work, holding two long session days and disposing of over 100 proposed pieces of legislation.  Sadly, the event to receive the greatest attention was the speech of Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown) who commenced a speech on guns in schools with remarks construed by many as racist.  The House voted to cite Rep. Burt for ‘disorderly speech’ and he did follow with an apology, but this is already the second time in two months that Rep. Burt has uttered remarks on the floor of the House that are perceived as racist.  Events like this are sad moments for the NH House and the State of NH.  State agencies and groups like “StayWorkPlay NH” (http://stayworkplay.org/) work hard to recruit and retain a young and increasingly diverse workforce, but comments like those of Rep. Burt only make their job more difficult.  The future of NH rests upon younger generations, and that means greater cognizance and respect for all forms of diversity.  NH must change if it is to move forward. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2019-03

February 25, 2019 ~ Bow, NH

How many times have you heard the comment “Elections have consequences.”?  That comment was often made in NH over the past four years as part of a warning about harmful legislation or other hostile actions taken by our State government.  It might be another attempt to pass so-called right to work legislation, it might be an attempt to fund private schools with public education dollars, but whatever the reason, “elections have consequences” was always a warning and a call to action. 

Our situation is a little different this year.  “Elections have consequences”-yes.  But this time, the consequences are much more positive for AFT-NH members and for all the citizens of NH.  With friendly majorities in the NH House and Senate, the outlook for positive legislation is much brighter than in previous years. Of course, one consequence from 2018 was the re-election of Governor Sununu, meaning not all obstacles to progress have been removed.  But at least this year we anticipate fewer emergency calls asking you to contact legislators, and when we do ask, it will be to help stiffen their backbone and make clear to them that we have a positive agenda and we aim to see steps taken to enact it.  It won’t all happen this year or next but it is now time to begin moving NH in the right direction, to restore support for public education, to care for our retirees, and to establish programs to help working families across the Granite State.

No to Learn Everywhere -AFT-NH President Doug Ley

Please accept this written statement from the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) regarding the proposed rules establishing the Learn Everywhere program.  As staunch advocates of public education, AFT-NH is firmly opposed to the creation of the Learn Everywhere program. 

As currently outlined, the Learn Everywhere program removes from local control the decisions regarding standards for credit-bearing activities and courses, thereby reversing longstanding New Hampshire tradition.  As an organization representing educators who work closely with local administrators and school boards, AFT-NH rejects the centralization of authority over graduation standards and supports keeping it at the level closest to students, teachers, and citizens—the local level.