Skip to main content


We scored a major victory this week in keeping our public schools safe and welcoming places for ALL of our students and preventing teachers and school staff from being punished for respecting their students’ privacy. That is the good news. The bad news is that we will have to fight the same fight again next week as a very similar bill crosses over from the NH Senate.

Recap  The full House was in session two days this week up against a major deadline and they had almost 100 bills to get through. These bills included HB 10, the House version of the so-called parental bill of rights, HB 331, a

CONCORD, N.H.—The following is a statement from AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes on today’s N.H. House defeat of parental bill of rights legislation and the tabling of two voucher bills: “The defeat of these bills signals that the Granite State doesn’t support extremist politicians’ efforts to wage culture wars in the classroom and divert more public dollars for expanded voucher programs. Students and families deserve a state government and Legislature that is laser focused on ensuring that our public schools provide robust academic programs and offer appropriate social and emotional assistance to students. “The proposed parental bill of rights legislation was a shameful effort straight out of a culture war handbook, rather than a sincere effort to enable teachers and parents to work together in the best interest of students. Let’s hope this brings an end to a terrible foray into the euphemism of parental rights but really was an abuse of students’ and educators’ rights. MORE

What unions do


In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.

Public News Service - March 20, 2023 Educators in New Hampshire say a proposed "parental bill of rights" before lawmakers discriminates against LGBTQ students. The legislation requires schools to inform parents of a student's sexual orientation or gender identity should a parent inquire. Educators could be sued in civil court, face fines or even jail time if they fail to truthfully respond. Deb Howes, president of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire, said teachers should not be forced to "out" students, and parents should talk with their children themselves. MORE
This was a mixed week for public education.  Let’s start with the good news. Town election day was March 14th for most SB 2 towns and school districts across the state.  Of course, an epic nor’easter that dropped 8 to 38 inches of heavy, wet snow and knocked out power to thousands altered those plans for many.  Luckily, a recent state law allows voters to vote absentee the day before Town Meeting Day if a winter storm warning has been declared, so they don’t have to endanger themselves to get to the polls. In the interest of public safety, seventy towns postponed their elections for two weeks and rescheduled for March 28th. For those who persevered and held voting, the results showed that even in a raging snowstorm, Granite State voters showed up to support public school students, teachers, and school support staff and their local, neighborhood public schools. MORE
House Action  Thursday’s House session dealt a blow to supporters of public education as well as property taxpayers across the state. There is no way to sugarcoat this. Despite our best efforts, anti-public education politicians voted to expand the use of unaccountable school vouchers, further draining money from the Education Trust Fund which funds our neighborhood public schools. This means your local property taxes will go up or your neighborhood public school will have to cut things like arts, sports, and other programs.  In fact, one of the voucher expansion bills that passed could result in a family struggling to keep up with their bills now being responsible for funding a voucher for a millionaire who wants to send their kids to an elite private or parochial school. Many families currently in the voucher program are using their vouchers to pay for art, music, and sports, some of the very programs neighborhood public schools will have to cut because of the underfunding from the state. The journey of these bills is not yet over. They will either be put into the budget or sent over to the Senate. MORE