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AFT-NH President Deb Howes Testimony in Opposition to SB 341

AFT-NH President Deb Howes testified against SB 341 which mandates school employees to respond "honestly and completely" to written requests by parents regarding information relating to their children. The bill is overly broad and vague and employees would be referred for discipline for violating this impossible language contained in the bill.   

President Howes complete testimony can be read at /sites/default/files/media/documents/2024/AFT-NH%20testimony%20on%20SB%20341.pdf

On January 4th, the NH Senate Education Committee will convene to hear new proposed legislation. The school voucher crowd is wasting no time to try to expand the unaccountable and expensive voucher program with SB 442 and SB 522. More divisive legislation is being proposed in SB 341. We need you to sign in as opposed to the following bills SB 341, SB 442-FN, and SB 522-FN-A. With more than 100 education bills being proposed this session, we expect to be reaching out to you often to defend our cherished public schools and educators.


AFT-NH President Deb Howes on the Proposed Rules on Learn Everywhere Program"

"When the State Board of Education gives its approval to a Learn Everywhere program, or any program, it tells parents that program fits with its mission. It is saying this program has academic rigor, will help students learn and thrive. If it doesn’t,  it shouldn’t get State Board approval. These proposed changes to the Learn Everywhere rules don’t help the State Board reach that goal.     

I urge you to reject these proposed rule changes."


We are at a challenging turning point for public education in the Granite State.

We can come together and stand up for the robust and well-funded public schools our students deserve, that are the hearts of our communities and are the kind of workplaces where our teachers and paraeducators are respected as professionals and can use their talents to help students learn and thrive. Or we can continue to stay focused on the many legitimate pressing demands of our own daily lives, in the workplace, and with our families, while our students, our schools and our communities in the face of a series of relentless attacks are dismantled around us.


CONCORD, N.H. Today, the Rockingham Country Superior Court ruled that the state’s funding of education is unconstitutional. The court also ruled that towns are no longer able to keep their excess SWEPT. AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement:

“The court’s ruling today re-affirms what we have been saying for years, the state funding of our neighborhood public schools is inadequate and unconstitutional. The continued underfunding of our schools deprives many Granite State public school students of enough expert teachers to give them the individual attention they deserve, the help of skilled, caring paraeducators to support their learning and the counselors and social workers to help students navigate the many other challenges that can get in the way of learning."


“The court’s decision is disappointing but not surprising. The court actually said the quiet part out loud, stating that the state does not have an obligation to provide a constitutionally adequate education to children whose parents opt to provide them a private education. That stunning admission should shock the public to its core and give everyone pause about the accountability and quality of voucher schools."