Education Bills Schedule for Week of April 6, 2015

“Cross over,” when the House and Senate exchange bills, is well underway. Unless otherwise indicated, the following bills are scheduled for a committee meeting which is the opportunity for public testimony. This is the best chance to communicate with the committee members and share your opinion on bills. The public has until the executive session to make an impact on how the committee will vote, which is very influential when the entire body votes. Some bills will be exec’d by the committees this week and the Senate Education Committee may do that anytime after a bill’s public hearing. Brief phone calls are more effective, but an email will certainly help as few legislators hear from constituents. Contact information for the House and Senate education committees are at the end of this post.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
HOUSE EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
9:30 a.m. SB 157-FN, relative to encouraging high school students to take and pass a United States citizenship test (as amended)
position — NEUTRAL
more information — As originally written, this bill was an unfunded mandate, against Part I Article 28-A of the NH Constitution. It was also against local control for the legislature to dictate any grade-level test or curriculum requirements. However, it is amended to “encourage,” no longer “require” or “mandate” the civics exam for high school graduation. Now it is an optional honorary designation. For more information on the original bill, see Top-Down Education in SB 157 Defies Local Control.

10:15 a.m. SB 190-FN, relative to payment of costs for career and technical education center programs and administration by the department of education (as amended)
position — OPPOSE
more information — Although offering vocation-focused options are positive, this bill creates regional educational programs directly under the control of the Department of Education, circumventing elected school boards and district supervision. It further distances taxpayers from those who control the schools, against local control. The program would be aligned to national technical core competencies, so it is more federal education reform in NH schools. It also significantly expands the authority of the state Board of Education to include developing the tuition and transportation costs and the distribution of funds.

11:00 a.m. SB 227, relative to calculating the cost of an adequate education

1:00 p.m. Continued executive session
SB 151-FN, requiring inclusion of home educated pupils in the definition of average daily membership in attendance
SB 265-FN, establishing the achieving a better life experience (ABLE) savings account program.

SENATE EDUCATION, Room 103, LOB 
9:00 a.m. HB 124, relative to the implementation of new college and career readiness standards (as amended)
position — SUPPORT
more information — This bill encourages transparency and accountability by requiring the state Board of Education to conduct public hearings in each executive council district prior to the implementation of any new standards.

9:20 a.m. HB 519, establishing a committee to study department of education policies affecting dyslexic students

9:40 a.m. HB 578-FN, relative to state board of education compliance with unfunded federal education
mandates

position — SUPPORT
additional information — This bill protects districts from unfunded mandates that may result when the state Department of Education accepts federal grants or enters into contracts for federal education programs.

** 10:00 a.m. HB 563, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils
position — SUPPORT
more information — Even with the increased funding, chartered public schools cost less than traditional public schools. The additional funding would enable chartered public schools to accept more students, giving more options to families who want choice. Note that charter school do not receive local tax dollars, only the state per student amount and adequacy funds. This total is less than what the state sends districts for students in traditional public schools, even with the increase proposed in this bill.

EXECUTIVE SESSION MAY FOLLOW

Thursday, April 9, 2015
HOUSE EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB 10:00 a.m.
Executive session on
SB 157-FN, relative to encouraging high school students to take and pass a United States citizenship test
(see above)

SB 190-FN, relative to payment of costs for career and technical education center programs and administration by the department of education
(see above)

SB 227, relative to calculating the cost of an adequate education

 

To contact the entire House Education Committee, you may send one email to HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

To find your NH senator, and his or her contact information, refer to the senate’s roster page.

The following is the Senate Education Committee‘s contact information.

John Reagan, Chairman
john.reagan111@gmail.com
(603)271-4063

 
Nancy Stiles, Vice Chairman
nancy.stiles@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-3093

 
Kevin Avard
Kevin.Avard@.leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-4151

 
Molly Kelly
molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-3207

 
David Watters
david.watters@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-8631

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