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House Refuses to Debate Expanding Free School Meals

Part-time teacher bills   This week, the House Education Committee voted unanimously to defeat HB 374 which was the Senate’s version of the so-called uncertified part-time teacher bill. This version of the bill allowed anyone to teach in a public school classroom up to 30 hours a week with no guidelines or guardrails.

The House version of this bill, HB1298, was heard in the Senate Education Committee this week. This bill, while better than the Senate version, still contains many of the same problems and would still lead to uncertified, unqualified individuals teaching students in public school classrooms across the state without the skills and preparation they need to do so effectively. It continues to be a bill that would shortchange our students and not lead to better educational outcomes.

House Refuses to Consider Free School Meal Expansion Also, this week, the House refused to even debate HB 1212, a bill that would have increased the number of students who qualified for free meals in our public schools. We know that feeding kids is vital, not just for their health but also for their ability to learn.  New Hampshire students deserve better and in the words of the late Rep. Art Ellison “Feed the damn kids!” While a few commonsense Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting to move the bill forward, the rest of the razor thin Republican majority in the House voted as a block to table the bill without so much as a discussion, and then adjourned for a corporate sponsored lunch in the House cafeteria. Feeding hungry children so they can learn in school should not be a partisan issue. It is really a shame so many of our lawmakers in Concord have forgotten that.

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AFT-NH Testimony on HB 1298  Relative to the Licensing of Parttime Teachers

From Debrah Howes, President AFT-NH

Thank you, Chair Ward and Members of the House Education Committee. Thank you for reading my testimony.

My name is Debrah Howes. I am president of the American Federation of Teachers – New Hampshire.

I am here to speak on behalf of our 3700 members across the state, as well as the students, families, and communities we serve. Our members include preK through 12 public school educators and support staff, university faculty as well as town employees. I am here today to testify in opposition to HB 1298 Relative to the Licensing of Part-time Teachers.

We all want to do what is best for our students in our local neighborhood public schools. We want them to have challenging academics in fully staffed schools, but we also want them to have engaging lessons, carefully designed learning experiences and content communicated in a way that meets their learning needs. Being a content area expert is not the only requirement to be successful as a teacher. Hiring content area experts who are not certified educators to teach students, even if limited to parttime, would put students’ learning needs behind the appearance of filling positions.  

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Part-time Teacher Bill and Feed Our Students

SB 341  This week the extremist majority controlling the state Senate continued to try to create a wedge of distrust between parents and educators by passing SB 341. SB 341 says that an educator must answer “truthfully and completely” to any question a parent asks about what a student says or does in school. This is not limited to classwork and assignments, grades, following school rules, or even generally getting along with other students, all things a teacher would notice in the course of their work. It could be about anything: changes in

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Subpoena Bill Tabled and Action Needed on SB 341

Good news this week as the House was able to keep HB 1353 (subpoena bill) on the table preventing Frank Edelblut or any future Commissioner of Education from obtaining subpoena power for fishing expeditions based simply on the belief that the educator may have done something wrong. This power could very easily be used to try to intimidate teachers as we know the Commissioner has done during his tenure. Thank you again for all your advocacy on this subject, reaching out to your legislators once again made a difference.

Part-time teacher bill

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AFT-NH Testimony on SB 374  Relative to the Licensing of Part-time Teachers

From Debrah Howes, President AFT-NH

Thank you, Chair Ladd and Members of the House Education Committee. Thank you for reading my testimony.

My name is Debrah Howes. I am president of the American Federation of Teachers – New Hampshire.

I am here to speak on behalf of our 3700 members across the state, as well as the students, families, and communities we serve. Our members include preK through 12 public school educators and support staff, university faculty as well as town employees. I am here today to testify in opposition to SB 374 Relative to the Licensing of Part-time Teachers.

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2024

HONEY CASCIO SCHOLARSHIP

and

BILLY DONOVAN SCHOLARSHIP

AFT-NH, AFT, AFL-CIO

(Deadline: Postmarked by May 1, 2024)

AFT-NH is proud to award two $1,500 scholarships for the 2024-25 academic year. The Cascio scholarship will be offered to one graduating senior who has been accepted at an institution of higher learning, while the Donovan scholarship will go to one continuing student at an accredited institution of higher learning for the 2024-2025 academic year. Prior scholarship winners are ineligible.   

You can download the application here:  /sites/default/files/media/documents/2024/2024_aft-nh_scholarship_application3-19-24.pdf.

Applicant’s parent or guardian must be a current member of AFT-NH. Winners will need to provide proof of enrollment (continuing or as a new student) for the 2024-2025 academic year in order to receive their scholarship check. All applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2024.  

 

 

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