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AFT-NH: Voucher and Part-Time Teacher Bills Show Disdain for Public Education

For Immediate Release                                        Contact:   Deb Howes,, 603-930-9248                                                                           

CONCORD, N.H.—The following is a statement by AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes on HB 1298, allowing uncertified teachers with no college education to be part-time public school teachers, and HB 1665, which expands the state’s voucher program by increasing the funding eligibility cap from 350 percent of the federal poverty level to 400 percent. Both bills passed the Senate on Wednesday and head back to the House for a concurrence vote, an agreement to create a “committee of conference” to work out differences or a defeat through refusing to do either.

“The ball is now in the House’s court to defeat two bills that show smug disdain for Granite State public school students. It is beyond imagination that this Legislature, as anti-public education as the majority has been, would approve a bill allowing people to teach up to 30 hours a week in public schools even if they are not certified to teach, don’t have a college degree or have no work experience in a specialized field. This shows a crass indifference to the needs of every public school student and their families and demonstrates that certain lawmakers have no understanding of what it takes to educate our children. If this passes, the Granite State would be a national embarrassment for the quality of teachers it permits in classrooms and how it treats its students.

“The other bill that would damage public education and waste taxpayer dollars would expand the unaccountable, already over-budget school voucher program. Our public school students, the local neighborhood public schools and local property taxpayers deserve better than pouring more dollars into a program that has cost more than ever anticipated for its entire existence and has not shown any independent evidence of improved academic outcomes. It would be best to take the millions of dollars from the voucher program and put them into meeting the state’s constitutional duty to fully fund its public schools.”

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