Current Discourse Surrounding Nomination “Baseless and Inflammatory”
CONCORD, May 6, 2014 – We read with disbelief and disgust some of the things being said, written and posted by well-known public figures in New Hampshire concerning the nomination of Bill Duncan to the State Board of Education. These attacks are personal, untrue, and represent the worst of those trying to take away the right of a public education to every child in the state.
Why has this nomination created such vitriolic personal attacks? Because Bill Duncan defends public school students and educators. Because he exposes the intentional misrepresentations of those seeking political office in an effort to rally their political base, rather than offering serious solutions to improve educational opportunities for all children in the state. Because he sees through the fear-mongering double-talk of those who would do away with public education and use public tax money to fund private schools for those well-connected and rich enough to get admitted. Because he stays committed to the rightful cause that every child, no matter where they live, no matter how much their parent’s earn, is entitled to a quality education with high standards, taught by caring professionals in a safe environment.
“Bill Duncan does not believe public schools in NH are failing. As a successful STEM business professional and job creator, Bill recognized the role public education plays in strengthening and improving New Hampshire’s economy and the need to be sure it is nurtured and supported, rather than vilified and defunded,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President.
He was one of the first to call the unconstitutional tax credit scholarship scheme what it truly was; a voucher program that would systematically defund public education in New Hampshire and use tax dollars to pay for private school tuition. He took his fight to court and won a victory for every public school student in the state.
Rather than stand on the sidelines and throw stones, or consult with corporate right-wing think tanks, Bill went into classrooms around the state and talked with, interviewed and filmed real educators to better understand the complex issues they and their students face every day. It is this dedication to better understanding the challenges of today’s classrooms that makes him a champion of public education.
Bill knows, as do the 16,000 members of NEA-NH, that we all—parents, educators, elected officials, community leaders—share the responsibility for the success of students. We must all ask ourselves what we can do in our respective roles to make our schools better for kids and help to ensure their success, not hurl vile insults at those seeking to improve education.
“The baseless discourse in which the far-right is now engaged serves only to enflame their political base and offers nothing in the way of suggestion or solution. The State Board of Education and the school children of New Hampshire need serious professionals like Bill Duncan,” said McGilvray.