Take Action on HB20: Voucher Bill

1. Take Action to Stop the Voucher Program HB20!

The House Education Committee is hearing this bill on Tuesday, February 2 at 1:15pm

From NEA-NH:
About the Bill

A new bill that would create the country’s first nearly universal voucher program has been introduced as the top priority for lawmakers in the 2021 session. House Bill 20 (HB 20) would require the state to use tax dollars currently allocated for public education to fund “Education Freedom Accounts.” Parents could then receive between $3,786 and $8,458 per student in state dollars, depending on eligibility and fees, to use for private/religious school tuition or homeschooling expenses. 

The bill creates the same voucher program that lawmakers originally introduced in 2017 which was killed because of the deep inequities it would cause for students, as well as the steep costs to the state and local towns. 

House Bill 20 has no accountability requirements as to whether students are getting an adequate education or that public funds are being used for the correct purposes. This bill is similar to the bill that was present by lawmakers back in 2017. This bill was defeated because of the major costs to state and local taxpayers. 

Read about the bill here:

To speak out against HB20, school voucher program:

The hearing on HB 20 is scheduled for the House Education Committee on this Tuesday, Feb. 2, beginning at 1:15 pm. We encourage every reader of this update to sign in against HB 20 using the process outlined below. We also encourage individuals to testify against HB20.

Committee hearings are being held remotely so you have an opportunity to register your opposition by clicking the following link: Register Opposition to HB 20.

1. Click on the calendar for February 2nd
2. Select House Education Committee
3. Select, “I am a member of the Public”
4. Click “I oppose the Bill”

Please be sure to do this in advance of the 1:15 pm hearing time.

If you wish to testify, this should be a long hearing so check into the meeting when you can at Members of the public may attend using the following links: 1. To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/99800820017 2. Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 1-929-205-6099 3. Webinar ID: 998 0082 0017   You are encouraged though to still complete the form as noted above. If you would like to submit written testimony you can send it to this address: HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

2. Petition to Add New Hampshire Teachers to Phase 1B:

New Hampshire is one of only two states that has chosen to not vaccinate teachers in phase 1B, as recommended by the CDC. Let’s share our concern with our Governor, Chris Sununu, our students families and the task force in charge of distribution! Sign the petition to voice your concern: https://www.change.org/p/new-hampshire-state-house-add-new-hampshire-teachers-to-phase-1b

3. NEA-NH Opposes HB609: “Innovation Schools” Bill 

This overly broad piece of legislation creates a method by which public schools and districts can seek waivers of rules and laws that pertain to providing education to students. 

It gives tremendous, arguably unconstitutional, power to the State Board of Education to approve waivers on a nearly unlimited number of education and labor standards including waiving: provisions in your collective bargaining agreements teacher certification standards numerous labor and workplace protections special education and other critical services that every student deserves.

HB609 removes local accountability by giving state-level officials—rather than elected local school boards—chartering authority for schools that do not follow the legal obligations of public schools undermining more than 100 years of local control of our schools.

This bill is, in essence, a way to create charter schools within the public school system and again, like many ALEC corporate proposals, targets changing worker’s rights and the rules for teacher pay, pensions, hours, and other conditions of employment. The bill would give chartering authority for these so-called “innovative schools” to state-level officials, even though the bill purports to respect the tradition of local administration of school systems.