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Poll Shows Granite Staters Do Not Support the Voucher Program and Strongly Oppose an Expansion


Poll Shows Granite Staters Do Not Support the Voucher Program and Strongly Oppose an Expansion

CONCORD, N.H. -  More Granite Staters oppose the taxpayer-funded school voucher program than support it, with an even stronger opposition to further expansion of the program, according to polling released by the UNH Survey Center yesterday.  AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement:

“The Granite State Poll proves what we have said from the beginning, that hard-working Granite Staters are looking for solutions that help all our neighborhood public school students and are not interested in funding unaccountable, unproven, and over budget programs that only help a few families. The voucher scheme pushed by Frank Edelblut and extreme right-wing politicians raises local property taxes and does not improve educational outcomes for most students, all while New Hampshire continues to fail to fulfill its constitutional duty and fund our neighborhood public schools. The New Hampshire legislature should and must turn its attention to fully funding neighborhood public schools and ensuring that each student can access a robust, challenging and honest curriculum so that the Granite State can continue to have some of the best schools and best-educated students in the country.”




For Immediate Release                                                                                            August 10, 2023


State Board of Education Tabling PragerU is a Good First Step

but the Program Must Be Rejected

CONCORD, N.H. Today, the New Hampshire State Board of Education tabled a Prager U Financial Literacy video for a ½ credit in New Hampshire Public Schools. AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement.

“Today’s decision to table PragerU as an education vendor is a solid first step for New Hampshire students, parents and teachers but the State Board must fully reject this proposal. The State Board of Education has a responsibility to approve curriculum that is rich in content and is proven to be effective through a rigorous accreditation process. PragerU fails on all of these important criteria. If this program is approved, parents may believe that this program, because it has been approved by the board, is accredited while it is not.

When questioned about PragerU members of the SBOE immediately blamed teachers for not voicing their concerns when a small handful were asked on July 3rd. Asking teachers for information in the summer and during the 4th of July holiday and then blaming them for not responding by the end of that week is insulting to those volunteers who do their limited free time to the board for this kind of review whenever possible.

We will continue to monitor and oppose this program and any of Frank Edelblut’s and the State Board of Education’s attempts cheapen our public schools. New Hampshire’s public education system and hardworking Granite Staters deserve better.



Kelly Ayotte’s Commitment to Universal Voucher Program is Disqualifying

CONCORD, N.H.In announcing her candidacy for Governor Yesterday, Kelly Ayotte showed how out of touch she is with the wants and needs of most Granite State students, families, and local property taxpayers. She touted a universal school voucher program as one of her highest priorities. AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement:


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.


Randi Weingarten at a Massachusetts high school

Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.

State Budget Approved and Proceeds to Governor This week’s passage of a state budget by the NH Senate and House is a good news/ bad news story. The good news is that we have a state budget that delivers more overall funding to neighborhood public schools, increases support for the University System of NH, gives state employees a long overdue raise after years of frozen wages and continues Medicaid expansion for the next 7 years that will help many Granite Staters in need. The bad news is it comes at an opportunity cost. This budget included a huge tax cut for the wealthiest people in the state – so wealthy that only 20 people actually pay it! It also increases eligibility for school vouchers to those who choose to send their children to private schools or homeschool them. Despite the increases in this budget, we still aren’t providing what all our students in every town and district need to learn and thrive. And in many towns, local property taxpayers just can’t make up the difference. The Granite State will remain next to last in state funding of local neighborhood public schools and last in funding of its university system. The expression “no budget is perfect” has been said a lot this week and it is definitely true.  MORE