End of the 2023 Legislative Session
The legislative session is now officially finished. The State House will see no action on any bill until September when work will begin on any bills retained by the committee.
Governor signs school voucher expansion. This week the Governor signed the expansion for the unaccountable, over budget and unproven school voucher program. We have talked a lot about this bill in this space and will continue to as New Hampshire continues to fail to adequately fund our local neighborhood public schools. Expanding voucher eligibility to families who make more than 100 thousand dollars is bad for your property taxes and bad for the state’s ability to finally fulfill its promise and fund our neighborhood public schools.
Most Granite State families choose their local neighborhood public school for their student, even though the state does not meet its obligation to adequately fund all our public schools. They know and trust the teachers and school staff. They feel a part of the public school community. They get to vote on who runs the public schools when they elect the school board. With school vouchers, Granite Staters have none of that. It is simply a subsidy from our tax dollars given to families to pay for private schools, home schooling, school supplies, extracurricular activities or whatever education related expense the family wants. There is no independent requirement the tax money be used to provide a complete education for a student. AFT-NH will continue to oppose school vouchers as harmful to public schools and harmful to students.
HB 275 passes NH House and Senate. The House and Senate also concurred on HB 275 this week which now means New Hampshire has a back door local school voucher program in districts that do not offer certain grade levels. School boards must approve at least one tuition option for public school that the district will pay for. With passage of HB 275, may now approve additional schools, public or private, for students to attend but if those schools cost more per pupil than the district had budgeted for tuition the family would have to pay the difference. School boards must approve these tuition agreements for their district which means that making sure we have school board members who support our local neighborhood public schools has become even more important than it already is.
2023 Session Ends. With the legislative session wrapping up today this will be our last legislative bulletin until late summer, when we start looking ahead to next year. Thank you for all of your advocacy this year. Your continued support of public education this year has made a big difference and led to a lot of wins. THANK YOU!
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You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.