Legislative Update: Stop Unlimited Vouchers in NH

This week the House will have well over 100 bills up for a vote as they meet on Wednesday and Thursday this coming week in order to meet their deadlines to act on certain legislation.

Important Action Items for this Week

Stop Unlimited Vouchers (Including for Millionaires!)

Two bills going to the floor this week with no recommendation would expand the school voucher program, exponentially diverting money away from public schools.

ACTION REQUESTED: Contact your State Representative(s) and ask that they vote AGAINST HB 331 and HB 538 by going to our Legislative Action Page.

  • HB 331 would remove any income cap on our current private school voucher program, allowing even millionaires to receive a school voucher to pay for private school.
  • HB 538 would create a local voucher program which, if adopted by a community, would require local property tax money to be spent on school vouchers as well, with no income restrictions at all.

Both programs would blow the doors open on funding private schools in New Hampshire with public tax dollars, and decimate funding for access to public schools.

Don’t Let Politicians Stop the Ability of Parents to Work with their Children’s Educators – Stop HB 10

The House version of the so-called “Parental Bill of Rights” will be first up on the regular calendar this Wednesday and so it is crucial that we have our pro-public education legislators present at the very beginning of session and ready to vote NO on this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED: Contact your State Representative(s) and ask that they vote NO on HB 10 so we can keep stop politicians from driving a wedge between parents and educators. You can do so by visiting our Legislative Action Page.

HB 10 is a bill that would set forward a set of broad and vaguely written “rights” for parents within NH K-12 public schools. Many of the rights outlined in the bill exist already, such as the right to opt a student out of certain instruction. Part of the trouble with HB 10 is that it goes beyond those types of rights and appears to imply parental rights to direct not just the education of their own child, but to infringe on the right to an inclusive education for the rest of the children in the classroom. Parents and voters agree that our public schools should be inclusive and welcoming places, but this legislation targets LGBTQ+ students and drives a wedge between parents and school personnel. The legislation also contains disciplinary actions up to removal of licensure for any certified personnel and criminal penalties for any person in a school for violating any part of this proposed law.

Week’s Recap

Book Ban Legislation Tabled!

With strong turnout from Democrats and 15 Republican votes, HB 514, NH’s Book Ban bill was tabled. Instead of supporting parents and educators working together, this bill is another prosecutorial power grab by the Commissioner of Education and other politicians in their attempt to stoke a culture war rather than supporting a high-quality public education for our students. We need to ensure this bill stays on the table through next week’s House deadline to prevent it from having a real chance of being brought off the table and acted upon. Ensuring your supportive state representatives are at session this week will be the key to that.

More Important News from Past Week – NH Senate Passes NEA-NH Requested Legislation

  • The NH Senate unanimously passed SB 193, which would require public employers and employee bargaining teams to meet within 10 days, unless agreed to otherwise, once one party has served notice to the other to bargain. With tight timelines to meet for school district budget submission it is important that one side does not drag out the start of the process. NEA-NH requested this bill to support productive bargaining at the local level. This bill heads to the House next.
  • The NH Senate also passed SB 140, relative to establishing a program for the recruitment of educators. This bill would establish a program to fund stipends or grants to students to reduce the financial barriers to entering the educator workforce. Because of the appropriation in the bill, the legislation was referred to Senate Finance Committee for its next step.
  • The NH Senate also passed SB 218, which would establish an early educator professional development grant program. This bill would help school districts to fund mentoring programs to better support educators in their first years on the job. This bill was also referred toe Senate Finance as well.