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After concluding business in a rush back on March 10, the NH House reconvened this past Thursday for a short session.  The most notable action of the day concerned HB 647, the so-called voucher bill for children with disabilities.  The bill had previously passed the House on policy grounds, but on Thursday, came to the floor with a strong, bi-partisan recommendation of “Inexpedient to Legislate” from the Finance Committee.  Nevertheless, in what looks to have been a party-line vote (it was not a roll-call but a division vote, meaning only the totals are recorded, not individual votes) the bill was tabled rather than killed.  The motion to table came from Republican leader Dick Hinch, who asked the House to table on grounds that voting to kill the bill would prejudice the fate of SB 193, the broader, full-scale education voucher bill.  With a vote of 193-161 (closely resembling party numbers in the House) HB 647 was tabled.  The bill itself is essentially dead for 2017 but can be revived in 2018, and may also make an appearance in the 2018-19 budget bill still under construction by the House Finance Committee. 

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Statement by AFT-NH President Doug Ley on the Passing of State Senator Scott McGilvray.

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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. 

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NO to SB 193 and HB 647

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.

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Statement by AFT-NH President Douglas Ley on the passing of Chief Brian Costa

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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.

Deadline for submission:  March 21st   

Submit team applications via fax—603-226-0133 or email at  dley@aft-nh.org