In the News: ConVal suit centers on dispute over NH’s ‘unequivocal legal duty’ to fund education

The school districts pursuing the case, however, would say the question is whether, after three decades, the state will fulfill its constitutional obligations as ordered by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in its foundational Claremont rulings in 1993 and 1997.

Click the quote to learn more about this landmark case for NH Education. Again.

Oppose HB 1393: Stop Dangerous Arbitrary Spending Caps in Public Education *UPDATE: BILL TABLED

HB 1393 would allow petitioning residents or a school board to propose an arbitrary cap on education spending per pupil in their town.  

-The proposed cap on district spending per attending student chosen by the petitioner or school board and could irresponsibly cut school budgets.  
-There is NOT a requirement in the bill that the arbitrary budget cap be sufficient for meeting the educational needs of students.
-The proposed budget caps would need to be approved by 3/5 of voters by ballot in SB 2 towns (SAU 21 and 90 towns included) or 3/5 of voters at the annual town meeting or special meeting in non-SB 2 towns.
-If approved by the district, the capped per pupil spending could only increase each year by the chosen increase in inflation (which could be set as low as 0%) or could be rescinded entirely by a 3/5 vote. 

The proposed cap on spending per pupil would be chosen arbitrarily by the petitioner and not by professionals as part of an informed process that will meet the needs of students. 

Bill language: IV. The wording of the question shall be: “Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 32:5-d, and implement a budget cap whereby the school board (or budget committee) shall not submit a recommended budget that is higher than ______ dollars times the average daily membership of the school district as of October 1 of the year immediately preceding the proposed budget year plus a ______ annual increase for inflation.”

If you’re familiar with the recent events in Croydon, you can see how this could go terribly wrong for NH school districts, students and teachers/staff.  This bill has already passed the House so please take a moment to sign-in to oppose this bill in the Senate Committee and/or email the Committee directly.  
You can sign-in to oppose HB1393 here.
You can email the committee here.

Please continue to check in with NEANH’s Legislative Action Center here.

UPDATE: TABLED! Stop HB 607: Vouchers are STILL wrong fOR NH

HB 607 would create another, even more dangerous school voucher plan that takes from your locally raised public school tax dollars to fund school voucher accounts that can be used to pay for private, religious, or home schooling. There is NO limit on the income level of families who can receive funding from the community. HB 607 could remove dangerously huge chunks of public school funding at the local level. This bill would represent a dramatic expansion of the school voucher program which is already 5,000% over budget. HB 607 has little accountability built into it and outsources local property taxes to a 3rd party that is not accountable to taxpayers.

Go to the NEA-NH Take Action Page for details on how to help stop HB 607
from taking even more money from our public neighborhood schools.

Call Your Legislators and let them know:
•HB 607 would have a disastrous effect on our local school districts and could result in big property tax increases in order to fund two school systems at the expense of a quality public school education for all.
• It means working families will pay for the private and home school tuition for ultra-wealthy families with no accountability.
• The recent state voucher plan is resulting in millions of new spending, it’s time to pump the brakes before we risk that happening at the local level at the expense of public schools.

Examples of the money that New Hampshire school districts will lose if that community is forced to pay for private school or home schooling:
Thousands of dollars would leave the public school districts using this method with each child that uses a local level voucher from HB 607. For example:
• $11,462 per student in Newfields,
• $10,787 in Rumney,
• $4,871 in Conway, and
• $8, 870 in Deerfield.

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: 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:

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:

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.

Get Out the Vote!

SEA and NEA-NH encourage you to vote for pro-education candidates tomorrow! Below you’ll find a list of recommendations from NEA-NH for candidates who support public education at the local, state and national levels. Additionally, NEA has endorsed the Biden/Harris ticket in the presidential race. If you live outside our school districts, please click here for NEANH’s full list of recommendations

NEANH New Hampshire Seacoast Recommendations:

For Governor:
Dan Feltes

For US Senate:
Jeanne Shaheen

For US Congress:
Chris Pappas

Jeanne Shaheen- US Senate
Chris Pappas- US Congress
Mindi Messmer- Executive Council
Tom Sherman- NH Senate
Robert “Renny” Cushing- NH House
Mike Edgar- NH House
Katherine Harake- NH House
Tom Loughman- NH House

Hampton Falls, Seabrook
Jeanne Shaheen- US Senate
Chris Pappas- US Congress
Mindi Messmer- Executive Council
Tom Sherman- NH Senate
Aboul Khan (R)- NH House
Greg Marrow (D)- NH House
Patricia M. O’Keefe (D)- NH House

North Hampton
Jeanne Shaheen- US Senate
Chris Pappas- US Congress
Mindi Messmer- Executive Council
Tom Sherman- NH Senate
Jim Maggiore- NH House