School Assessment Scores Show New Hampshire Public Schools Are In A Strong Position With More Work To Be Done (AFT-NH President Deb Howes)
CONCORD, N.H.— Yesterday, the New Hampshire Department of Education released assessment data showing that New Hampshire’s public schools continue to make improvements getting closer to pre-pandemic levels of achievement. AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement:
“It is no secret that the last three years have been difficult on students, teachers, school support staff, and administrators. This past year in particular teachers had to focus not just on the content that they are required to teach but also on content that may have been missed due to hybrid and remote learning. Teachers, support staff, and students worked overtime re-establishing safe learning communities and focusing both on relationships and academics.
AFT-NH Supports Education Funding Lawsuit
CONCORD, N.H.— Yesterday in Superior Court a lawsuit was filed once again challenging the way that New Hampshire funds our local public schools. It is unfortunate that the New Hampshire legislature continues to underfund our schools leaving the local property taxpayers most of the tab to ensure children in their community can receive an education that will allow them to thrive. We know that in property-poor communities this means that the burdens on taxpayers can become overwhelming and schools are not able to provide their students with as many opportunities.
June 24, 2022 ~ Bow, NH
In each biennium of the New Hampshire Legislature an issue is identified early that will be the focus of both the House and Senate. This year it became very clear immediately after Republicans took control of both chambers that the issue they were going to focus on was public education. There have been bills to control what can be taught and how teachers and students talk about it. There have been bills to take tax money from supporting the learning of all students attending public schools and divert it so a few students could attend private schools or programs. There have been many bills to limit the authority of locally elected school boards because partisan activists did not like the responses they were getting from these locally elected officials. This, as we know, did not happen in a vacuum. Public education has become a political issue nationally with everything from misinformation to disinformation to outright lies being used to rally a political base at the expense of our children’s education.
Strong finish to the Legislative Session
HB 1431 Defeated
May 27, 2022 ~ Bow, NH
WE DID IT! In a victory for our students, this week we officially defeated HB 1431 in the House. Schools will remain a place where LGBTQ+ kids can have conversations with trusted adults and where they can feel safe having those conversations. The session is now done, and it was a great way to end it! 13 Republicans joined with all the Democrats and the two independents in the House to defeat the bill. The language we heard from opponents of this bill was truly disturbing, to put it mildly, but in the end, it was great to see this bill defeated.
With the session now over, we turn our attention to candidate filing. The New Hampshire House needs strong supporters of public education. If you are interested in running for office, you should contact President Deb Howes at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help with the process. The filing period opens on the 1st and closes on the 10th. We really do need you to step up for your communities and our schools and run for office.
As we said above the session is now over. The end of the school year is just 3 weeks away. We hope everyone can take a break this summer and recharge. You have certainly all earned it.
AFT-NH President Howes issued the following statement on the tragic events in Uvalde, TX
“AFT-NH is heartbroken by the incomprehensible violence that took 19 precious students and 2 educators in Uvalde, TX yesterday. We offer our profound condolences to the families of the students and educators lost, as well as the whole community that is struggling to understand what happened. Those children were in a place where they should have been safe, learning together, laughing together, counting down the hours to the end of the school year. They should have gone home at the end of the day to their families who love them. Those families will now mourn for them, along with their school community and a town that are forever changed. We cannot accept that this kind of violence is the price of freedom. Children have a right to live and grow up. We mourn with the families and school community of Uvalde but also demand better solutions from our lawmakers at all levels so that our schools can be safe places for our students and educators."
CONCORD, N.H. – The broad coalition of educators, advocacy groups, and law firms challenging the state’s ‘banned concepts’ law filed on Friday a new court brief objecting to the state’s attempt to dismiss the case. The brief highlights consistent and renewed concerns that the law discourages public school teachers from teaching and talking about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity in the classroom. The current case before the Court consolidates two lawsuits, one filed by educators Andres Mejia and Tina Kim Philibotte and National Education Association – New Hampshire, and one from the American Federation of Teachers.
Andres Mejia and Tina Kim Philibotte, both New Hampshire school administrators for diversity, equity, and inclusion, are among the plaintiffs in the case represented by ACLU-NH, and argue that the vague law is an unconstitutional chill on educator’s voices that prevents students from having an open and complete dialogue about the perspectives of historically marginalized communities.