NEA-NH Testifies in Support of SB 217

SB 217 bill could mean up to $12,000 over a 4-year period for early educators who are trying to grapple with paying off loans

NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle, along with NEA-NH Government Relations Direction Brian Hawkins, provided testimony, maps, and data in support of SB 217, a bill that will help rural areas or those that face economic disadvantages mitigate some of the strain of recruiting and retaining educators.

“We have a tremendous workforce shortage in our K-12 schools,” said Tuttle. “This shortage existed before the pandemic and has been exacerbated by it. Now is the time for New Hampshire to act to address this need through a variety of avenues. We see SB 217 as one of the tools in our toolbelt to address this shortage.”

“In a recent survey conducted by NEA nationally, nearly half of all educators took out student loans to pay for college and they still owe on average $58,700 and among those, one in seven still owes more than $105,000,” added Tuttle.

“As states tackle the educator workforce shortage in significant ways, we do not want New Hampshire to be left behind without the benefit of SB 217 as one of the ways we are addressing the issue. Most importantly, for our students we want to be able to say we did everything we could to help strengthen the pipeline of future educators so that they have the professionals they need to receive a world class education in the Granite State.”

See the entire testimony submitted below: