Take Action to Stop Expansion of School Vouchers in NH
Now is the time for action to stop school voucher expansion in NH. The State of New Hampshire has had 30 years since it lost the first Claremont lawsuit to fix the broken way we fund public education in the Granite State. The NH Supreme Court found that the funding system which relied overwhelmingly on revenue from local property taxpayers to provide a public education was unconstitutional because taxpayers in some towns got a much better education while paying much lower tax rates than those in other towns. Every two years the NH Legislature must decide how much of the state tax money it will give each public school district to provide an adequate public education. The funding formula passed by the NH House, while not perfect, at least provides the most financial support to schools in the cities and towns that need it the most.
This week, the Senate continues work on the budget and next week on Tuesday will have their public budget hearing. This is our opportunity to tell the Senate to fund and protect public schools. There are 165,000 students who rely on public schools for their education. Each and every one of them deserve a well-funded school with small class sizes, well-qualified teachers, learning support from paraeducators, a full array of science, technology and arts classes as well as hands-on, practical, career and technical ed classes no matter where they live in the Granite State. Once the Senate gets through the public hearing the budget process will go into hyper-drive. After Tuesday, the Senate will have just under a month to get a budget completed so they can bring it to the Senate floor by June 8th. From there the budget will go to a committee of conference for the House and Senate to come to an agreement.
In the meantime, the Senate Education Committee held their public hearing on school vouchers and we are waiting for them to take a vote out of committee. HB 367 and HB 464 would dramatically expand the number of people eligible for the voucher scheme and we need your help in making sure that does not happen. School vouchers are a failed policy. These programs take tax money away from public schools and give it to families to spend as they choose on private schools that can reject students as well as on educational supplies, online classes, technology, enrichment programs, tutors or whatever. School vouchers have been shown in numerous studies in states across the country to be damaging to student achievement, increase school segregation and drain much needed resources away from neighborhood public schools. In fact, the overall negative impact on student achievement has been measured as equal to or greater than Hurricane Katrina or the disruptions of the COVID epidemic. So why would the notoriously frugal Granite State be pursuing expanding a policy that shows such poor return on the use of our valuable tax dollars?
Action Requested Please CONTACT THE SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE and ask them to help defeat House Bills 367 and 464 and stop the expansion of the school voucher plan. Let’s support our public schools and the 165,000 students who attend those schools.
Defeat the So-Called Parental Bill of Rights…Once and For All. The last big piece of legislation we are still watching this session is the so-called parental bill of rights (SB 272). Predictably, the House Education Committee voted 10-10 on the bill on Tuesday and so it will go to the floor of the full House with no recommendation. The bill is not on the calendar for next week’s House session and so the earliest we could see it on the floor at this point is May 11th. As a reminder since it came out of committee with no recommendation, the first motion on the floor is Ought to Pass and the following motion would be an Inexpedient To Legislate if the Ought To Pass motion is defeated. Even though we do not yet have a date for the House vote on this bill you can still contact your representative and tell them to vote against this horrible bill. We need to make sure we keep our public schools places that are safe, welcoming and inclusive for ALL our students.
Please take this action and ASK YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO VOTE NO ON SB 272.
We are approaching the last two months of this legislative session and we ask you to stay alert to the need to take quick actions as the budget process unfolds and remaining bills, like the ones outlined above, find their way to final votes. Together, we can defend New Hampshire values and our cherished public schools.
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You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.
Upcoming Legislative Hearing Schedule
|Wed 5/3 9:30 AM||SB 218||Establishing An Early Educator Professional Development Grant.||Sen. Donovan Fenton||LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Full Committee Work Session
|Wed 5/3 9:30 AM||SB 213||Relative to Educational Institution Policies On Social Media.||Sen. David Watters||LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
Full Committee Work Session
|Wed 5/3 10:15 AM||SB 218||Establishing An Early Educator Professional Development Grant.||Sen. Donovan Fenton||LOB 205-207 (Education/H)
|Wed 5/3 10:15 AM||SB 213||Relative to Educational Institution Policies On Social Media.||Sen. David Watters||LOB 205-207 (Education/H)