CONCORD, N.H.—The following is a statement from AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes on today’s N.H. House defeat of parental bill of rights legislation and the tabling of two voucher bills:
“The defeat of these bills signals that the Granite State doesn’t support extremist politicians’ efforts to wage culture wars in the classroom and divert more public dollars for expanded voucher programs. Students and families deserve a state government and Legislature that is laser focused on ensuring that our public schools provide robust academic programs and offer appropriate social and emotional assistance to students.
“The proposed parental bill of rights legislation was a shameful effort straight out of a culture war handbook, rather than a sincere effort to enable teachers and parents to work together in the best interest of students. Let’s hope this brings an end to a terrible foray into the euphemism of parental rights but really was an abuse of students’ and educators’ rights.
“The unlimited expansion of unaccountable vouchers would have permitted most any child to be eligible for a publicly funded voucher and lifted the income cap to allow even millionaires to be eligible for a voucher. If these bills had passed, there would have been such a drain of public dollars for private schools that only property taxpayers could help dig public schools out of the hole. That would have been intolerable and unconscionable.
“Today was a good day for public school students, their families and the teachers and staff who work so hard. We urge the Legislature to focus now on making sure that each and every public school in the Granite State has all the resources, staff and programming they need for every single student to get the great education they deserve.”