May 11, 2024: NEA-NH Legislative Update

NEXT WEEK: Full NH Senate Will Vote on Three of the Final Most Consequential Bills Remaining This Session 

The state Senate will be voting on bills that cover watering down the standards of the teaching profession, targeting LGBTQ+ students and expanding the unaccountable private school voucher scheme.  

HB 1298: Part-Time Unlicensed Teacher Bill – Tell Your Senator Not to Water Down Standards! 

This past week, the Senate Education Committee voted on party lines to recommend passing HB 1298 and amending the bill back to the version they passed months ago. This bill is being advocated for by Commissioner Edelblut as part of his effort to water down the standards for teaching. As a refresher, with the amendment, the bill would create a “Part-Time Teacher” who can teach in public schools provided they only work less than 30 hours a week, pass a criminal history record check and are subject to the educator code of conduct. There is no time limit to this status or requirement for a path to certification, traditional or alternative, where a teacher could receive feedback, support, or professional development.   

Studies have shown that teacher quality is the most powerful indicator of student achievement within the school. The effect of a high-quality teacher can be as much as one grade level in annual achievement growth. High-quality and effective teachers are well-versed in teaching methods, learning theory, child development, assessment, and their content area.  

High-quality preparatory programs, whether it is a “traditional” program or alternative pathways like Grow-Your-Own programs, help future teachers build the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively serve their students.  

In Texas, a new state law has resulted in more unlicensed new teachers being hired than licensed ones; in rural and small-town schools, almost 75% of new teachers hired in 2023-24 were unlicensed.  

Further, uncertified teachers leave the profession at a higher rate than certified teachers. Approximately 30% of uncertified teachers leave the profession within a five-year span compared to 15% of certified teachers.  

ACTION ALERT: Tell your state senator to reject lower standards for New Hampshire students by rejecting HB 1298! 

HB 1312 – Vague Curriculum/Materials Parental Notification Bill 

The Senate Education Committee also recommended HB 1312 to pass on a party line vote this week. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. This bill would essentially codify a recent NH Department of Education interpretation of the 2-week notice to parents around objectionable material which is an unworkable standard that would leave educators wondering what course material could apply to the notice requirements that traditionally had been focused on sex education and health classes. For example, if there is a book or math worksheet that contains any kind of scenario mentioning someone’s gender or orientation, does it then fall into a 2-week notice requirement? The bill also contains more vague language that is like other so-called parental rights legislation that puts educators in impossible positions in determining which actions or conversations could put them or a student in jeopardy when they are only trying to be a trusted adult at school. 

ACTION ALERT: If HB 1312 passes the Senate this week, it will go straight to the Governor’s desk. Find your senator’s contact information now and urge them to reject this unworkable and discriminatory bill.  

HB 1665: Final Private School Voucher Expansion Bill Slated for Full Senate Vote 

The Senate Education Committee is sending HB 1665 to the Senate floor for a vote with the recommendation that the bill be passed with their version of private school voucher scheme eligibility expansion. As amended by the Committee, HB 1665 would expand eligibility to enter the program for the second time in less than a year from 350% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, or around $124,800 for a family of four. 

For the state of New Hampshire, this could mean as much as an additional $66 million in public funds diverted from public education annually. 

HB 1665 is now the last remaining voucher expansion bill in the legislature this year. If you haven’t already, it is so critical you act now and urge your email your state senator and urge them to reject expanding the runaway voucher program!  

If you have already used our action form, take the next step by calling your lawmaker to urge them to reject voucher expansion. You can find your state senator’s phone number here. 


If you have questions on any of these bills or ones not mentioned here, please feel free to contact Brian Hawkins, NEA-NH Director of Government Relations at  You can also follow all the bills we are watching next week and check on a bill’s status by visiting our NEA-NH bill tracker.