May 24, 2024: NEA-NH Legislative Update

NH Senate Sends Amended Versions of Private School Voucher Expansion and Unlicensed Part-Time Teacher Bill Back to the House 

This week, as expected, the New Hampshire Senate amended and passed on a party line vote, two of the most consequential bills attacking public education that remain in play this session. With the Senate having changed both HB 1298, the unlicensed part-time teacher bill, and HB 1665, the last voucher expansion bill, each bill will now go back to the House for a vote on whether to concur with the changes, request a committee of conference to iron out the differences between the two versions, or to simply “non-concur” with the changes – which would mean the bill dies. NEA-New Hampshire will be asking that House members reject both HB 1298 and HB 1665 outright as there is no version of them that would be a positive for public education and for students. We need your help, though! See below our quick reminder summaries and links to action pages to contact your state representative(s).  

HB 1298: Part-Time Unlicensed Teacher Bill – Tell Your State Reps: Don’t Water Down Teacher Standards! 

This bill is being advocated for by Commissioner Edelblut as part of his effort to water down the standards for teaching. As a refresher, as amended, this bill would create a “Part-Time Teacher” who can teach in public schools provided they 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.  The House version of this bill was not much better than the Senate version, so there is no reason to try and work toward a compromise that will only result in a lowering of standards for the profession. 

ACTION ALERT: Tell your state representative(s) to reject lower standards for New Hampshire teachers by rejecting HB 1298! 

HB 1665: Final Private School Voucher Expansion Bill Headed back to the House for Final Vote 

As amended by the Senate, 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.  

It is so critical you act now and urge your email your state representative(s) to reject expanding the runaway voucher program! 

Tell Governor Sununu to Veto HB 1312 When it comes to his desk! 

Unfortunately, as we mentioned in the update last week, the Legislature did pass HB 1312, which would essentially codify a recent NH Department of Education interpretation of the 2-week notice to parents around “objectionable material”. This 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.  

The next step for this bill is the Governor’s desk – once it is delivered to him, he will have 5 days to sign or veto the bill, or it will become law without his signature. You can contact Governor Sununu and urge him to veto HB 1312 by calling 603-271-2121 or clicking here to use our email action form. 


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.