AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin (2023-03)

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Voucher Expansion Heard at the State House This Week 

This week the House Education Committee heard two bills that would dramatically increase the amount of money spent on school vouchers in New Hampshire. Though the claim has always been that the purpose of this program is to help low-income families both of these bills would allow middle to high income families use of the voucher program. The voucher program, originally slated to cost just a few hundred thousand dollars has already ballooned to $30 million dollars and these bills would rise that cost even more and drain more money from our local public schools. We will have more actions for HB 464 and HB 367 as these bills continues to work their way through the legislature.  Thank you to all of you who took time to let the House Education Committee know that New Hampshire does not want to see this program expanded. You read the written testimony from AFT-NH President Deb Howes at the following link: Testimony Opposing HB 464 and HB 367.

Charter School Funding and Increased Complaints Against Teachers

Two bills to watch out for next week. In New Hampshire the state already gives more money per student to charter schools than it does to our local neighborhood public schools. This, despite the fact that we know New Hampshire funds our local public schools at a lower rate than any other state in the country. Two years ago, Republicans accepted money to expand the number of charter schools in New Hampshire despite the fact that there were opening in charter schools across the state and despite the fact that many were already struggling financially. Now, the House Education Committee will hear HB 272-FN, a bill that would increase funding for Charter Schools while keeping the funding dangerously low for our neighborhood public schools. 7 of the 10 lowest performing schools in the state are charter schools. The state must fix our broken school funding formula to improve public education for all public school students and not just focus on the few who attend charter schools.

Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee will hear HB 533, a bill that would allow the Department of Education to bring a complaint over teaching a so-called “divisive concept” to the Human Rights Commission against teachers. Is Commissioner Edelblut,  not satisfied that teachers are already being intimidated by the threats of the so-called “divisive concepts” law and the bounties being put on teachers for teaching honest history? Now is he looking to expand the ways in which he can intimidate teachers besides outrageous and misleading “op-eds”? As a reminder, here is what a judge said about the so-called “divisive concepts” law just one week ago, “In sum, the amendments’ vague terminology, their lack of a scienter requirement, and the possibility that teachers could be found liable for teaching a banned concept by implication, leave both teachers and enforcers to guess at what speech the amendments prohibit. Given the severe consequences that teachers face if they are found to have taught or advocated a banned concept, plaintiffs have pleaded a plausible claim that the amendments are unconstitutionally vague.” 

Action Request   You can sign in OPPOSED to HB 272 and HB 533 and make sure the Education and Judiciary Committee knows that New Hampshire does not support increased charter school funding or further wrongful intimidation of our teachers.

Here’s the link to submit your opposition:  Remote Sign-In

CLICK HERE FOR REMOTE SIGN-IN

You will need to submit your opposition to each bill.

Step 1: Fill in your personal information.

Step 2: Select January 25th for HB 272 and January 26th for HB 533

Step 3: Select House Education Committee

Step 4: Select Bill Number (HB 272 and HB 533) [You need to submit the form twice.]

Step 5: Select a member of the public and you are representing yourself.

Step 6:  Select OPPOSE.

Step 7: Click Submit.

We thank you for your continued interest and advocacy.

For breaking news and other legislative information, please be sure to like us on Facebook at AFT New Hampshire or follow us on Twitter @AFTNewHampshire to receive the latest news.  Please share this with friends so they can sign up for this bulletin at http://nh.aft.org/.

You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.

Week of January 23rd Legislative Hearing Schedule

Date/Time Bill Description Sponsors Location
         
Tue 1/24 9:00 AM HB 487 Establishing A New Hampshire Farm-to-school Reimbursement Program. Rep. Alexis Simpson LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 9:45 AM HB 492 Requiring The Department Of Education to Provide The House and Senate Standing Committees Responsible For Education with Copies Of The Laws and Rules Relative to Education. Rep. Linda Tanner LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 10:30 AM HB 437 Relative to A Reading Assessment and Intervention Program. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 11:15 AM HB 542 Establishing An Academic Research and Improvement Performance Data Analyst In The Department Of Education. Rep. Rick Ladd LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 1:45 PM HB 430 Relative to Applications For The Education Freedom Accounts Program. Rep. David Luneau LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 2:30 PM HB 529 Relative to Additional Aid Grants For Schools Based On Free and Reduced Price Meals and Fiscal Capacity Disparity. Rep. Sallie Fellows LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Tue 1/24 3:15 PM HB 309 Relative to Civil Rights Education In Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Rep. Jordan Ulery LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
         
Wed 1/25 9:00 AM HB 272 Increasing Chartered Public School Per Pupil Funding. Rep. Maureen Mooney LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Wed 1/25 10:30 AM HB 295 Relative to Requiring All Selectboard and School Board Meetings to Be Recorded and Broadcast Live Online.   LOB 301-303 (Municipal and County Government/H)
Executive Session
Wed 1/25 10:45 AM HB 638 Relative to The Extraordinary Need Grants to Schools. Rep. Rick Ladd LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Wed 1/25 1:00 PM HB 626 Requiring The Department Of Education to Administer The Education Freedom Account. Rep. David Luneau LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Wed 1/25 2:00 PM HB 601 Relative to State Participation In The Medicaid Direct Certification Program For Free and Reduced Price School Meals. Rep. Mary Heath LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
         
Thu 1/26 10:40 AM HB 51 Relative to Requiring Towns and School Districts Use Warrant Articles For Lobbying Agents. Rep. Ralph Boehm LOB 301-303 (Municipal and County Government/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 11:15 AM HB 362 Relative to Complaint Procedures In Cases Before The Commission For Human Rights. Rep. Mark McLean LOB 206-208 (Judiciary/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 1:00 PM HB 533 Relative to Public School Human Rights Complaints. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 206-208 (Judiciary/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 1:00 PM HB 232 Adopting Section 1910 Osha Standards For Public Sector Employees In New Hampshire. Rep. Brian Sullivan LOB 305-307 (Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 2:00 PM HB 293 Allowing A Town to Appropriate Funds to Create A Town Scholarship Fund. Rep. Gregory Hill LOB 301-303 (Municipal and County Government/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 2:00 PM HB 150 Relative to The Certification Of A Collective Bargaining Unit. Rep. Mike Bordes LOB 305-307 (Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services/H)
Public Hearing
Thu 1/26 2:30 PM HB 647 Relative to Causes Of Action For Individual Rights. Rep. Tony Lekas LOB 206-208 (Judiciary/H)
Public Hearing
         
Fri 1/27 9:15 AM HB 572 Relative to Eligibility For Free School Meals. Rep. Muriel Hall LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 10:00 AM HB 625 Relative to The Calculation Of Average Daily Membership In Attendance and Average Daily Membership In Residence For School Districts. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 10:45 AM HB 637 Relative to The Calculation Of Average Daily Membership In Attendance For Certain Home Educated Pupils. Rep. Deborah Hobson LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 11:45 AM HB 439 Relative to The Duty to Provide An Education and Contracts with Private Schools. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 12:45 PM HB 540 Relative to Adequate Education Grant Amounts For Pupils Receiving Special Education Services. Rep. Rick Ladd LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 1:45 PM HB 530 Relative to Withdrawal From A Cooperative School District. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 2:45 PM HB 466 Relative to Water Bottle Filling Stations In Schools. Rep. Rick Ladd LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
Fri 1/27 3:15 PM HB 440 Relative to The Uses Of Education Trust Fund. Rep. Glenn Cordelli LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Public Hearing
         
CANCELLED
Wed 2/1 1:15 PM
HB 619 Prohibiting Gender Transition Procedures For Minors, Relative to Sex and Gender In Public Schools, and Relative to The Definition Of Conversion Therapy. Rep. Terry Roy LOB 210-211 (Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs/H)
Public Hearing