PRESS RELEASE: NH Department of Education “306 Rules” Revision Draft Fails to Protect Strong Standards for Public Schools in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH – On Wednesday, April 3, the State Board of Education held the first of two public hearings on the proposed revision of the state’s “Minimum Standards for Public School Approval” – also known as the “306 Rules” – that has the potential to impact every facet of education for educators and students.  

Following the hearing, NEA-New Hampshire President Megan Tuttle released this statement: 

“From the beginning of the 306 Rules revision process, educators have had to fight their way to the table when they should have been invited from the start. While NEA-New Hampshire has taken every opportunity to share our feedback and amplify educator input, the New Hampshire Department of Education’s current proposal fails to address many of the concerns identified by public education leaders.  

There is still much work to be done to ensure this document protects strong standards for New Hampshire public schools. We hope that the Department and State Board of Education will continue to work with stakeholders and the public to produce a revision of the 306 Rules that will help to guarantee no matter where a student lives, they receive consistent access to quality education.”  


What are the 306 Rules? 

In addition to state laws, the 306 Rules articulate what New Hampshire public schools must do to be an approved school. These minimum standards for public education exist to ensure that no matter where a student lives, they receive consistent access to quality education.  

What is the 306 Rule revision process to date? 

The 306 Rule revision process began with a contract between the NH Department of Education and the National Center for Competency-Based Learning, which was approved by the Executive Council in November of 2020 and extended in June of 2021 and then again in May of 2023.  

A nine-member task force was established by NCCBL President Fred Bramante in 2021 to draft the revisions to the standards, which the group submitted that summer.  

On May 16, 2022, NHED published a red-lined version of the 306 Rules. On December 8, 2022, a coalition of public education advocates released a letter demanding transparency in the 306 Rules revision process. 

In March 2023, NHED released an initial proposal to the State Board of Education. 

Listening sessions began in May of 2023. Independently organized educator feedback sessions began in October 2023, organized by Christine Downing, director of curriculum and instruction in SAUs 32 (Plainfield), 75 (Grantham), and 100 (Cornish). Downing released a report in the fall of 2023 that critiqued NHED’s proposal and provided a better path forward.  

In 2024, NEA-New Hampshire helped construct a 306 Rule revision proposal that was submitted to the State Board of Education. Unfortunately, on February 15, 2024, the State Board of Education moved forward with a separate NHED proposal. 

Since February, NEA-NH has taken every available opportunity to share our organization’s concerns about the draft proposal. We have been told that another NHED proposal will be put forward on April 3. While some key changes have purportedly been made, the draft in totality is still concerning and would have a negative impact on public education in New Hampshire. Additionally, since February, Downing has held a second series of educator feedback sessions and is expected to deliver her report at the second 306 Rules public hearing on April 11.  

Concerns about the 306 Rules revision proposal: 

  • Weakens equity provisions  
  • Moves to a statewide model of competency and assessment (eliminating local control) 
  • Privatizes learning 
  • Removes class size requirements 
  • Removes educator certification requirements 

NEA-New Hampshire is advocating for school standards that: 

  • Clearly articulate the curriculum expectations to ensure clarity about what students should know and be able to do upon graduation from a public school in our state. 
  • Maintain class size limits to ensure educators can adequately provide instruction to all Granite State students that meet their individual learning needs. 
  • Protect local competencies, graduation requirements, and assessments to ensure public education meets the needs of individual communities and their students. 
  • Maintain use of the term “grade level” as opposed to “learning level” when referencing the configuration of school organization. As every educator knows, these terms are not synonymous and for these rules to imply otherwise would be inappropriate and could weaken a school’s responsibility to educate children. The structure of our school buildings, state, and federal assessments and accountability are done by grade level; without that, the schools will be out of compliance. 
  • Preserve language that addresses equity and fairness because public schools should educate all students and educators should work to identify and eliminate any barriers that prevent students from accessing a quality education. 

Additional Resources: 


About NEA-New Hampshire 

NEA-New Hampshire is the largest union of public employees in the state. Founded in 1854, the New Hampshire State Teachers Association became one of the “founding ten” state education associations that formed the National Education Association in 1857. Known today as NEA-NH, and comprised of more than 17,000 members, our mission to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public-school employees, and to promote lifelong learning, remains true after more than 165 years. Our members are public school employees in all stages of their careers, including classroom teachers and other certified professionals, staff and instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support personnel and those retired from the profession.