Making Democracy Work

Education study

The state board proposed at Convention on June 3, 2017, that the League undertake a study of education issues in NH. The membership in attendance approved the concept of the study. Click here for the pdf of the study scope and introduction as determined by the steering committee at their first meeting on July 18, 2017.

We are also highlighting on this page some of the education issues that members have brought to our attention.

Inclusion here does not indicate a League position, as we have not yet completed the important study and consensus process.

2017-18 League Study of Education in NH--MEETINGS

The state steering committee met on July 17 and August 3. The next meeting will be August 29 (times and places will be posted on our Calendar page). Focus will be on understanding the financing of education and governance (roles and responsibilities of the various govt entities).

League members in local units and members statewide will be given opportunities to participate in the study and consensus process. More information to come, both on this webpage and in the NHVoter newsletter.

LWVKearsarge/Sunapee study committee has begun local meetings. Contact Pat Rodgers for details if you are interested in coming.

Fact Sheets

The steering committee will post here fact sheets for members to use during the study process. Each fact sheet will be dated and the name or initials of the preparer will be included should questions arise or correction be needed. Resources will be given as links within the pdf. Simply click on the title to read the pdf.

Introduction, scope & timeline of the study 7/18/17 Fact Sheet

Roles and Responsibilities 8/3/17 Fact Sheet explains the various levels of education oversight (federal, state, local including boards and government agencies).

From Ballotpedia.org, a non-partisan organization that collects data on politics and other issues across the country: Public Education in NH It offers some background date and comparisons with other states.

From the School Superintendents Assn, a national organization, comes this Resolution in Support of Public Education.

Regarding the NH legislature's funding of public education: Where the Money Comes From and Where the Money Goes

For a detailed background of education in NH, some members may wish to read this 17 pp document from the the NH Center fore Public Policy Studies. Lessons from New Hampshire: What We Can Learn from the History of the State's Role in School Finance -- 1642 - 1998 Author: Douglas E. Hall, Executive Director of New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

School voucher programs explained in general (From a webinar with Chief Policy & Advocacy officer from the National Centers for Learning Disabilities via Reaching Higher NH--August 2017) School vouchers will be topic of discussion in the NH House education committee work session on 8/22/17 at 10 am, LOB 207.

The Case for School Vouchers from a PBS panel discussion a few years ago (date uclear). Skip to the bottom of the page for a link to the opposite viewpoints.

For a lengthy explanation with sources (105 pp) of the Claremont school funding court cases, this is an excellent resource. (at some point, the study committee will try to provide a very short summary of the Claremont issues). "Claremont I and II - Were They Rightly Decided, and Where Have They Left Us?" Authors are John M. Lewis, Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court from 2001-2013; Chair of New Hampshire's State Board of Education from 1997 to 2001, and Stephen E. Borofsky, Managing Director of the law firm of Borofsky, Amodeo-Vickery & Bandazian P.A. (Unfortunately the file is too large for this server; email the LWVNH president via the contacts page and we can send it to you as a pdf attachment.)

Interesting asides

In this space we will include interesting perspectives on public education as food for thought, not as League positions nor even necessarily substantive facts. Let the discussion begin!

This short piece by Jamie Vollmer, a noted speaker on education issues, has become famous. Vollmer was once a harsh critic, now has become an articulate friend of America's public schools. Visit his website for more info: <http://www.jamievollmer.com/> Here is The Blueberry Story

League positions on Education

In 2012 the national League of Women Voters conducted a study and reached a position on the Federal Role in Education. Click here to read the position.

LWV New Hampshire's existing position on education dates to 1980. Click here to read the existing position.

State Bd of Education meetings

Next meeting is August 24, 2017, 9 am-2pm. Agenda will be posted on their website: <https://www.education.nh.gov/state_board/meetings/> Also on their website are minutes and video of previous meetings. (note: no September meeting is planned.)

The Board of Education meets once a month. Unless posted otherwise, meetings take place at the NH Department of Education building (Londergan Hall), 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH. The 7 members of the board are appointed by the Governor for a 5-years term. Five represent their districts (Executive Council districts); two are "at large." Meetings are open to the public, generally begin at 9 am with public comment sessions.

Education Freedom Savings Accounts (2017 session)

SB 193-FN, establishing education freedom savings accounts for students, and related HB 647 relating specifically to students with disabilities, made their way thru the NH Legislature (spring 2017). Read one state representative's take on the implications of these two bills for state funding of private education. Click here for pdf of Rep. Marjory Porter's view.

UPDATE: SB 193 passed the Senate, but was retained by the House for further study. Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session will be held 08/22/2017 at 10:00 AM in LOB room 207. More sessions may be held before November.

HB647 " establishing education freedom savings accounts for children with disabilities" was tabled by the House in February 2017, never made it to the Senate.

HB 356 (2017 session)

An amended bill to study education funding and adequacy and also to study the structure of the NH Dept of Education has passed both bodies in NH Legislature. Those studies will begin this summer; we encourage League members to follow the work of the joint special committee. Reports will be posted here. The bill is now Chaptered Law 0190:1 and 190:2 and the committee is described as a Study Committee. Meetings will be posted on the General Court website: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/statstudcomm/ (as of 8/3/17, no meetings have been posted)

Full new title of the amended bill is this: (Second New Title) establishing a committee to study education funding and the cost of an opportunity for an adequate education, establishing a committee to study the organizational structure of the department of education and the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner of the department of education, and relative to the duties of the commissioner of the department of education.

CACR7, a proposed constitutional amendment, was retained by the House committee in Feb. 2017. The amendment if approved by voters would allow the NH Legislature to determine a definition of school adequacy and funding. The text of the CACR is here We don't know yet whether any work will be done by the House on this bill in Fall 2017.

Reaching Higher NH presentation

View the YouTube video created by LWV Nashua unit. Dan Vallone, outreach director for Reaching Higher NH, spoke about the status of education in NH on May 16, 2017, at a public meeting in Nashua organized by League. Click here to view the video--it is a little over one hour in length.