June 8, 2024: NEA-NH Legislative Update

Committees of Conference Conclude  

The deadline to sign off on committee of conference reports was this past Thursday, June 6th and many bills saw a compromise product agreed to, but a few did not. In positive news, an effort to allow unlicensed part-time teachers in public schools was rejected and the Rural and Underserved Educator Recruitment Program was revived. Unfortunately, the House and Senate conferees are moving forward with a dramatic expansion of the state’s private school voucher program. More details below! 

Voucher Expansion Moves Forward to a Vote June 13th 

The most significant education bill moving forward to a vote on June 13th, the last day of session, will be HB 1665, which expands the unaccountable private school voucher scheme by lifting the eligibility threshold to enter the program from 350% to 425% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This was a compromise between the Senate position of expansion to 400% of FPL and the House position of expansion to 500% of FPL. As negotiated, this compromise bill would more than double the spending on the state private school voucher program, siphoning even more public funding away from public education. 

This is the last chance to stop a dramatic expansion of the private school voucher scheme. Click here to contact your state lawmakers now! 

Unlicensed Part-Time Teacher Bill Dies in Committee of Conference 

Both the Senate and House versions of this bill would have established an unlicensed part-time teacher position in New Hampshire without time limitations on the status or requirement for professional development or credentialing. The key difference between the two versions had been that the House limited the positions to teaching less than 20 hours per week with some added educational requirements, whereas the Senate version capped the time at 30 hours a week and required an individual pass a criminal history record check and be subject to the educator code of conduct. NEA-New Hampshire opposed both versions of this bill because they would have lowered standards for public school teachers and negatively impacted students’ access to high-quality education. Thankfully, not all the conferees agreed to the watering down of the public education profession and so the bill is dead for this session. Thank you to all those members who wrote to their legislators about this issue!  

Conferees Keep the Establishment of a Rural and Underserved Educator Recruitment Program 

The House and Senate conferees maintained language establishing a rural and underserved area educator incentive program which was inserted into HB 1079. The bill program will still require funding in the next budget, but if passed on June 13th, it would allow the formation of the program to help recruit and retain early career educators in rural and underserved school districts.  

Tell Governor Sununu to Veto HB 1312 When it Goes to His Desk! 

As a reminder, HB 1312 could go to Governor Sununu’s desk any day now. This bill 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 bhawkins@nhnea.org.  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.