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NEA-NH Legislative Take Action Center

TAKE ACTION SB130: They Want Even More Vouchers for NH

About the Bill

This bill establishes the “education freedom account” , aka Vouchers, program which permits the treasurer to transfer adequate education grants, plus any differentiated aid that would have been provided to a public school, to a scholarship organization for disbursement to parents to be used for certain educational purposes.

What You Can Do:

SB130 Hearing is set for March 2, 2021 at 9:00.

Sign-in in OPPOSTION to the bill TODAY!

Meeting Detail Link, including links to view the hearing and sign-in in OPPOSITON to the bill.

  • Please sign in well in advance of the hearing.
  • Click on the date that the bill you are interested in is being heard: 3/2/2021.
  • Under the drop-down menus select SENATE EDUCATION
  • Select the bill you are interested in: SB130
  • Select a category (elected official, lobbyist, agency staff, member of the public).
  • Indicate you oppose the bill by checking the appropriate circle.
  • If you wish to speak or provide written testimony, check that box. You will be prompted to email your testimony to the Education Committee. Please DO NOT check that box unless you plan to speak. You can register your position on a bill without speaking.
  • Follow the rest of the online instructions to complete your sign-in.

TAKE ACTION: Let Your Representative Know That HB 544 Has No Place in This State or Century.

HB 544 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 President Joe Biden rescinded the order on January 20 – the first day of his presidency.

About HB544

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 HB544 

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, as required by HB 544, 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.

What You Can Do:

The House Executive Departments and Administration Committee is currently hearing this bill.

Write a message to your Representatives telling them you oppose HB544 and they should too!

TAKE ACTION: Let the Education Committee Know You Oppose HB609 –Innovation Schools

About HB609

This bill has been created by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that is funded by wealthy corporate interests that provides model legislation to state legislatures seeking to serve themselves and ultra-conservative interests. 

While HB609 may have New Hampshire Representatives listed as sponsors, huge portions of ALEC-backed legislation text come from language provided by ALEC to state legislators, such as the sponsors of HB609.

ALEC backers are on an ideological mission to defund and privatize public schools. Their Education Task Force is funded by the billionaire DeVos family and has pushed legislation for decades to privatize public schools, weaken teacher unions, and lower teaching standards.

NEA-NH Opposes HB609

  • This overly broad piece of legislation creates a method by which public schools and districts can seek waivers of ANY DOE rule or regulation and laws that pertain to providing education to students. 
  • It gives tremendous, arguably unconstitutional, power to the State Board of Education to approve waivers on a nearly unlimited number of education and labor standards including waiving:
    • provisions in your collective bargaining agreements
    • teacher certification standards
    • numerous labor and workplace protections
    • special education and other critical services that every student deserves.
  • HB609 removes local accountability by giving state-level officials—rather than elected local school boards—chartering authority for schools that do not follow the legal obligations of public schools undermining more than 100 years of local control of our schools.
  • This bill is, in essence, a way to create charter schools within the public school system and again, like many ALEC corporate proposals, targets changing worker’s rights and the rules for teacher pay, pensions, hours, and other conditions of employment. The bill would give chartering authority for these so-called “innovative schools” to state-level officials, even though the bill purports to respect the tradition of local administration of school systems.

What You Can Do:

The House Education Committee has already had one meeting on this bill.

More than 400 members signed-in in opposition to HB609 forcing the Education Committee to delay a vote on the bill.

You can write an email to your Representatives letting them know you oppose HB609.

TAKE ACTION: On Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 at 1:30 p.m., the House Education Committee will be holding a hearing on HB 607- An act establishing local education savings accounts for students.

About HB 607:

HB 607 has many similarities to HB 20, however, there are some significant and distinct differences:

  • HB 607 establishes a process by which a relatively small number of registered voters, can present the local school board with a petitioned article which must be placed on the ballot and, if passed, would establish a local education freedom savings account program in the local school district.
  • HB 607 does not include any provision requiring a student withdraw from the local school, or any public school program, in order to access funds in the education savings account.
  • Under HB607, parents would allow these funds to be used by parents, while the child continues to attend any school program, for such costs as tuition, transportation, materials, tutoring, online services, therapies, computers, college application or placement fees, etc.
  • No matter what they are called, schemes like HB607 are vouchers and they drain desperately needed funds from our neighborhood schools to pay for private school tuition and expenses.

What You Can Do:

You can sign in opposition or submit testimony against this bill right now via the remote hearing tool the legislature is using during the pandemic.

  • Please sign in well in advance of the hearing. This new online form will allow you to sign in on a bill as soon as it has been scheduled for a hearing.
  • Click on the date that the bill you are interested in is being heard: 2/9/2021.
  • Under the drop-down menus select EDUCATION COMMITTEE
  • Select the bill you are interested in: HB607
  • Select a category (elected official, lobbyist, agency staff, member of the public).
  • Indicate you oppose the bill by checking the appropriate circle.
  • If you wish to speak or provide written testimony, check that box. You will be prompted to email your testimony to the House Education Committee. Please DO NOT check that box unless you plan to speak. You can register your position on a bill without speaking.
  • Follow the rest of the online instructions to complete your sign-in.

 

Call Members of the Education Committee to Ask Them to 'Say NO to Vouchers'