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NEA-NH Legislative Take Action Center

TAKE ACTION: Budgets Should Reflect Our Priorities

About the Bill

 In order to keep their coalition together, House leaders are allowing bills that reflect the most far-right ideas to be added directly to the budget without going through the normal legislative process.

Things like a massive expansion of school vouchers, and preventing educators from teaching about systemic racism and sexism in public schools are fringe ideas that have been overwhelmingly opposed by New Hampshire voters time and again but are now included in the budget bill.

Our budget should reflect our priorities as a state and not be used as a pacifier for those seeking to jam dangerous laws onto our books by circumventing the rules.

This type of maneuvering is not the way we operate in New Hampshire!

Be sure your voice is heard before the final vote is taken. Send an email to your Legislators TODAY and remind them that state budgets should reflect our priorities, not radical, fringe ideas – and certainly not a record expansion of the school voucher program.

TAKE ACTION: Let Your Representative Know That “Divisive Concepts” Has No Place in This State or Century.

The contents of what was introduced as HB 544 and is now referred to as ‘divisive concepts’ is based on a federal executive order issued by former-President Trump in November 2020 that restricted federal institutions from using curriculum about systemic racism, white privilege and other race and gender bias issues. President Joe Biden rescinded the order on January 20 – the first day of his presidency. The contents of HB 544 are now contained in the House Budget Bill,

What the divisive concepts bills mean:

New Hampshire lawmakers are debating a bill that would prevent educators from teaching about systemic racism and sexism in public schools and state-funded programs. This was the first line of an article in the Concord Monitor, published February 18, 2021. 

Read it again and note the century it was published.

This is happening where we live right now and the bill’s sponsors are people our friends and neighbors voted for.

NEA-NH Opposes the inclusion of the contents ‘divisive concepts’ language in any bill – including the budget. 

Racism is complex and contentious. Many of us are afraid to even broach the subject. It often feels easier and safer to avoid the topic altogether.

But silence and inaction reinforce the status quo. And avoidance speaks volumes — it communicates to students of color that racism doesn’t matter enough to warrant attention and, by omission, invalidates their experiences, perspectives, identities and lives. White students, on the other hand, often see racism being accepted and normalized, without acknowledgement or accountability.

To advance real solutions, we need to address real problems. As teachers, we have “teachable moments,” or opportunities to constructively and productively address race. But these opportunities need to be thoughtfully created, seized, planned and managed. Not muzzled and criminalized.