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Town Election Results Show Voters Support Their Public Schools

AFT-NH Statement by President Deb Howes

Town Election Results Show Voters Support Their Public Schools

                                    Recent House Education Committee Action Echoes Public’s Pro-Public School Stance                                          

CONCORD, N.H.—Tuesday’s town elections across the state, which saw pro-public education school board candidates victorious and most educator union contracts approved with significant raises, vividly show that New Hampshire voters overwhelmingly support their public schools, said American Federation of Teachers-NH President Deb Howes.

“No matter how you look at the results, it’s clear that voters want their public schools and educators respected and funded. The election results confirm that the anti-public school forces can’t pit teachers against the community,” Howes said. “The public is sick of negative, divisive attacks on public schools and want a laser focus on giving our kids the schools they deserve.”

The school board election results in the Timberlane Regional School District were the most significant, Howes said, because after years of unrelenting divisive efforts by board members, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, most candidates supportive of public education and their teachers won.

“Make no mistake: Anti-public school extremists made a move to take over the Timberlane Regional School Board, but the local voters weren’t taking the bait,” Howes said.

Teacher, paraprofessional and other school staff contracts passed in the towns of Campton, Henniker, Hudson, Newfound, Oyster River, Raymond and Weare for the John Stark Regional School District.

On the same day of the town elections, the House Education Committee took unanimous action on two education bills that reflect New Hampshire voters’ sentiments. On HB 1671—which was Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut’s proposal to gut the required education curriculum to just English, math, science and social studies—the committee totally revamped it to actually require the courses that Edelblut wanted to cut, including computer literacy, world languages, art, music and engineering. The committee also killed HB 1255, the teacher loyalty bill, which would have banned public school teachers from promoting any theory that depicts U.S. history or its founding in a negative light.

“There was bipartisan agreement that these bills have no place in a state that cares about giving our kids a robust, high-quality public education. There still are divisive bills pending that seek to punish or harass educators, and those bills need to be killed. Voters have sent a shot across the bow that they want New Hampshire public schools to be robust and well-resourced and their teachers trusted to give our kids the foundation they need for a successful future,” Howes said.

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