NEA-NH Recommends Volinsky for Governor

Volinsky believes as we do that our schools must be safe environments that are funded fairly. 

July 30, 2020 – CONCORD, NH – Public school students, educators and their families cannot trust Chris Sununu as governor now and can certainly not afford to have him remain in office for another term.

Governor Chris Sununu failed students, their parents, and the communities in which they live. He failed teachers, paraeducators, lunch workers, school bus drivers, secretaries and every other education employee working in New Hampshire long before he proposed his own self-described Swiss Cheese approach to re-opening schools during the Corona virus pandemic. 

He appointed an anti-public education, Betsy DeVos clone to serve as the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education. Commissioner Edelblut focused his efforts on everything but the well-being of public schools. He applied for federal funds for charter schools and failed to tell New Hampshire taxpayers that it would be them who picked up the tab when the funds ran out. Chris Sununu encouraged this boondoggle because he knew he would not be the one in charge when the bill came due. 

Governor Sununu was the cheerleader for a program that stripped locally elected officials and locally run school districts from determining when and how students would earn credit for graduation. He was very comfortable trashing community control of their schools by authorizing uncertified and untrained people to “teach” our students over the objection of school administrators and school boards.

But when he was most needed to provide just a modicum of guidance at the state level to lead the safe reopening of schools during this pandemic, he abandoned his responsibilities and left everyone else to “figure it out.”

Parents worry their children will fall through one of the holes in the Sununu Swiss Cheese re-opening plan, and he remains silent on what happens when students and education employees become ill. Concerned educators had to fill in the gaps left by his plan to ensure student and educator safety. 

Chris Sununu did not receive the recommendation of NEA-NH and its 17,000 members and their families because he has done nothing to earn it and nothing to deserve it.

Chris Sununu opposed additional aid to school districts which would have provided taxpayers relief from a too underfunded school system and when it was passed over his objections he tried to take credit for the additional money. As educators, we believe credit should be given where credit is due. When it comes to school funding, Sununu deserves no credit at all.

His priorities are wrong, and his agenda is dangerous.

Now more than ever, we need a leader who will fight for students and educators – not leave them out to dry.   

Today, NEA-NH announces their recommendation of Andru Volinsky for Governor, because he believes as we do that our schools must be safe environments that are funded fairly. 

Volinsky has spent more than 30 years fighting for safe schools for New Hampshire’s children. He was the lead lawyer in the Claremont School Funding case in the 1990s that sought to require the state to meet its obligation to provide all students with access to a fair public education. He held over 60 public forums around the state over the last two years to discuss how school funding really “works” and where it falls short.

As a first-term Executive Councilor, he challenged the Governor’s appointment of an unqualified Education Commissioner, and the concerns he raised about Commissioner Edelblut’s hostility toward, and lack of interest in, public education have proven true. 

We trust that Andru will always have the best interest of our state’s children at the heart of every decision he will make as Governor,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH President. “He shares our belief that the lives, health and well-being of public-school students, teachers and education employees and their families is worth fighting for. I am urging all our members to join me in our efforts to elect Andru Volinsky.”

“I am thrilled to have the support and recommendation of NEA-NH,” said Volinsky. “Dating back to the Claremont School case there decades ago, I have championed the rights of educators and students across my career and am currently running for Governor to ensure that inequities in our education system are resolved swiftly. Growing up, I was the only person in my family to go to college so I understand the importance of a quality education. I will continue to fight on behalf of students in the Granite State and across the country and am grateful for the support.”