AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2021-20

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So-Called Right to Work Defeated in the New Hampshire House!

Action Request on School Vouchers

Bow, NH ~ June 4, 2021

There is no sugar coating this session. It has been hard. We have seen attempts to dismantle public education. We have had to fend off numerous attacks on labor and attacks on many of the issues that we care about. This is why it is important to take a moment and celebrate wins when you have them. On Thursday, the House voted against SB61, the so-called Right to Work bill. Not only did the house vote against it this year, but they also used a motion that does not allow it to be brought up next year either. We want to thank our brothers and sisters in labor for all their hard work and I want to thank YOU for your hard work. We know that wins don’t always come easy so take this moment and celebrate—you deserve it.

I wish we could offer you more than a moment but sadly Right-to-Work was not the only thing we are facing right now. As we said last week the Senate Finance Committee added vouchers to the budget. This week the full Senate voted to approve that measure. The next step in the budget process is for a committee of conference to be formed. During that committee of conference anything, including vouchers, is negotiable. We need the folks on the committee of conference to know that keeping vouchers in the budget is unacceptable. 

Also, as we said in last week’s bulletin, the Senate included an amended version of the “divisive concepts” bill, a bill that would seek to limit your ability to teach about the history of racism and sexism in this country and how it still affects us today. They tried to dress up the amendment, but it is just as destructive as the first version.  This bill being in the budget is a disgrace to the state of New Hampshire and it must be removed.

Lastly, this budget gives $100 million less in adequacy aid than the budget passed two years ago. Moreover, the formula being used to give money to cities and towns will reward those places with the highest property values while leaving those places struggling to adequately fund education to struggle more.  New Hampshire is one of the worst in the country for education funding. We can and must do better.

Action Request!  The committee of conference will be formed next week, and the final budget will be voted on the 24th. This gives us less than 3 weeks to make our voices heard and protect public education in the state of New Hampshire. I know this is a lot to ask right now. With the school year winding down there are papers to grade and finals to give but we need you to engage in this fight. We need you to demand to your state Representative that they take the voucher bill out of the budget. We also need to demand they take out the divisive concepts bill from the budget and increase education adequacy aid. Click the link at the end of this paragraph  to send a letter to your state representative. Feel free to add your thoughts to the letter!   No to a budget with school vouchers

Finally, we also wanted to take a moment, as this year winds down, and once again say thank you for all the work you have done over the past 16 months. Your lives as educators were turned upside down. Everything you knew about teaching needed to be adjusted. You all have worked harder and longer hours than could be expected of you and you did it so your students could continue to learn and grow. There is light at the end of the tunnel. AFT-NH is proud to represent such amazing educators across this state. We wish you the best for the end of your year and hopefully time to rest and recharge this summer. You have earned it and then some.

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NH Retirement Security Coalition   The NHRSC will be tracking all bills related to the NH Retirement System and continuing advocacy for our members.  You can find the legislation tracker following retirement bills by clicking on the following link NHRSC UPDATES. AFT-NH is a member of the NH Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC).