September 9, 2022
Welcome back to all of our teachers, paraeducators, and school support staff. We know the last few years have been full of new challenges every day and that through it all you have done everything for your students to help better their education and learning. We wish you all the best in the upcoming year and hope for an easier, less tumultuous school year ahead.
And to all of our members and allies, we are entering the fall election cycle and other activity in Concord. We all must remain vigilant.
Legislative activity will begin to pick up at the State House. This week Representatives started to file bills for next year and in the coming weeks the Education Committee will finish its study committee work for the year. There was also a legislative committee formed to study teacher retention in New Hampshire and ways to attract teachers to the workforce. It was clear from the initial meeting of this committee that they plan to look at ways to recruit and retain not only teachers but also paraeducators and other school staff who contribute so much to students’ experience in schools. We will be looking for ways that this committee can hear from you about what motivates you to stay in your job as well as what frustrates you enough that you seriously consider leaving - or maybe has caused some of your coworkers to leave in the past 2 years.
Additionally, the NH State Board of Education will be examining the rules around minimum standards for public schools this fall. The standards (also known as the Ed 306 rules) are still in draft form but what we have seen so far could be disastrous for public education in New Hampshire. The draft rules eliminate equity and student protections, removes local school board control, guts program elements among other things. For a full breakdown of what these rules could do you can read this excellent report from Reaching Higher. Please follow here for updates on how you can engage in this in the coming weeks.
Lastly—we know with the start of the school year we all have a lot on our plates, but we ask you to make the time to vote in the primary—this Tuesday, September 13th. We need to make sure that we elect policymakers who will work as hard for our students, our schools and our communities as we do. If you need to learn your polling hours or polling location you can use this tool from the Secretary of State’s office.
Good luck with your first few weeks at school and make sure you vote on Tuesday! Please continue to check our website at http://nh.aft.org/ for updates on how we can protect public education, public services, the NH Retirement System, and advance initiatives as we work to continually improve it.
For breaking news and other legislative information, please be sure to like us on Facebook at AFT New Hampshire or follow us on Twitter @AFTNewHampshire to receive the latest news. Please share this with friends so they can sign up for this bulletin at http://nh.aft.org/.
You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.