Once again, the NH House acted like so many of my students do, allowing work to pile up and waiting until the final hour to do the work that needs to be done. This week, the House met for two long days, and because it had not met the prior week, faced a deadline for acting on over 100 proposed pieces of legislation. Given how long some debates can take, never mind the time consumed in roll call votes and all kinds of maneuvering, it made for very long days. Near the end late on Thursday, tempers began to fray and the Republican majority used their power in an increasingly aggressive manner. When it was done, all legislation had been acted upon, and the House will not meet again for two weeks.
The most controversial educational issue currently in front of the NH Legislature is that of vouchers. This bill would have a serious impact on our public schools. SB 193, falsely labeled as “Education Freedom Savings Accounts” would establish a full-blown voucher system in NH, taking taxpayer money and placing it in individual accounts for parents to expend at any charter, private or religious school. Money going to these savings accounts are in all practical terms are vouchers. This is taxpayer money dedicated for public education, which is funneled away from public schools and into the private sector, creating subsidies for a small portion of the population and imposing greater burdens on the majority. Update: SB 193 has passed the Nh Senate and is now being considered before the NH House Education Committee. For resources to fight vouchers, click more.
Drawing for AFT PSRP Conference-Entry Deadline is March 21st
FOR AFT-NH MEMBERS
Drawing on March 22nd for two (2) Union Members to attend the Annual AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel Conference (April 27th-30th)
AFT-NH will have a drawing on March 22nd for two AFT-NH PSRP members (whose local is in good standing with AFT and AFT-NH) to attend the Annual AFT PSRP Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Two names from the same local must be submitted together as a team since the drawing is based on double occupancy. Individuals who have previously won a trip to the Conference in the past five years are ineligible to apply. Each pair of applicants should write brief statements outlining their accomplishments as PSRPs union members and also what they hope to accomplish by attending the conference. Attendees will report on the conference to the May 2017 AFT-NH Board of Directors meeting.
Winners will receive a trip including airfare, hotel accommodations and registration to the Annual Conference. Reasonable expenses will also be paid.
Your Union colleagues around the state have spent countless hours negotiating fair and reasonable contracts with their employers. On Tuesday, March 14th contracts will be presented to voters in many districts. There are five AFT-NH contracts on ballots on this date. There will also be important votes to approve budgets, stop outsourcing and save police department positions. On Saturday, March 18th, there will be an important town meeting in Pittsfield where we are asking people to show up and vote to restore the two police officer positions which are being cut. Public safety matters! We are asking that if you live in one the towns below that you take the time to be sure to vote in support of these contracts and encourage your friends and family to vote. When we act in unity, we make a difference every time!
Together by supporting those who work with our children and adequately funding our schools, we can reclaim the promise of public education. We also must make certain that vital public safety services are funded appropriately.
Please remind folks that they can register to vote at the polls with proper identification and proof of residency! There’s still time to get an absentee ballot for voting on 3/14 if you will be out of town or unable to vote. Voting locations and times are provided below!
Thank you for supporting your fellow union members or for being a supporter of AFT-NH members.
This past week the House was once again, not in session, while House committees finished work on a tidal wave of bills, which will hit the House floor for votes beginning Wednesday, March 8. Still, even without the House in full session, there were some interesting developments, including some good news! March 9th is the last day for the House to act on house bills not referred to a second committee. March 16th is the last day to act on all bills going to a second committee except budget bills. In addition, the last day for budget bills to be acted upon is April 6th.