NEA-NH Statehouse Day – An Up Close Look at the Legislative Process in New Hampshire

More than 20 NEA-NH members spent the day at the New Hampshire Statehouse meeting with elected officials and observing education committees as they work on bills. They saw firsthand how our laws are made, then had lunch with members of the House Education Committee and Senators – some of the legislators responsible for passing the laws and budgets that impact our students, schools, and members.

During the regular session of the House Education Committee that day, members watched the committee discuss SB 218, a bill that seeks to create an early educator professional development grant to ensure more of our teachers receive the mentorship and guidance they need to be successful during their first few years in the classroom. NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle, and Irv Richardson, NEA-NH Coordinator of Public Education and School Support, testified in favor of the bill. The House Education Committee voted to hold off on any action on the bill that day.

Members also witnessed the House Education Committee Executive Session on the so called Parental Bill of Rights bill. That bill left the committee without a recommendation on a 10-10 vote.

During the lunch that followed at the NEA-NH offices in Concord, the elected officials in attendance heard first hand from the educators in the room about the challenges we face each day and priorities we would like see see addressed, from teacher shortages, inadequate pay and funding, school safety, and reasons why more and more educators are leaving the profession – sometimes during the middle of the school year.

Those representatives and senators in attendance assured our members that they heard us and encouraged even more NEA-NH members to get involved in the legislative process. Representative Myler noted that when sending emails to elected officials “tell your story in your own words.” He, and other elected officials, are for more likely to read emails that contain personal accounts of how a proposed bill will impact students and educators than those that are “simply cut and pasted.”

NEA-NH is planning more Statehouse Days in the future.