Education Bills Scheduled for Week of April 18, 2016

The following is the legislative schedule for the week of April 18, 2016 — a busy week ahead! There are several important bills on the agenda, so please take a close look and contact your legislators. Brief, polite calls and emails are effective; mention if you are a constituent. All contact information is at the end of this post.

Regular meeting for the following study commission

9:00 a.m. Commission to study issues relating to students receiving special education services while attending a chartered public school (RSA 186-C:30).
information — This commission is the result of HB 126 (2015). Here is the link to follow this study committee. It may impact HB 536 which has a public hearing in the Senate Education Committee the following day.


Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. HB 1229, prohibiting the inclusion of statewide assessment results in a student’s transcript without consent.
position — SUPPORT
information — This is a reasonable privacy protection for students. The statewide assessment is not designed as a measurement for individual performance. It was originally created for school district comparisons as well as school and teacher accountability. This bill prevents assessments from being used for a purpose for which they were not intended.

9:30 a.m. ***HB 1338, relative to student exemption from the statewide assessment.
position — SUPPORT
information — This bill is in response to increasing demand from parents to refuse their child’s participation in mandatory testing, including the statewide assessments that are aligned with College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core). This bill acknowledges parents’ rights to direct their children’s education. If the student does not participate in the assessment, this bill requires schools to provide an alternative educational activity which can be as simple as study hall or free reading time. This bill also protects the schools from any penalty from non-participation. We already have seen scores adjusted for students who did not take the 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment to indicate schools’ scores are not diminished by lower participation. Nothing in this bill changes the requirement for schools to administer the exam and make it available to all students for compliance with federal waiver conditions. The House Education Committee was supplied with examples of rewards and punishments that occurred in NH school districts.



Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. HB 1301, relative to the issuance of youth employment certificates.
position — SUPPORT
The current statute, RSA 276-A:5, presents an unfair burden for non-public school students who seek employment certificates as it requires authorization by a school principal who is not involved in his/her education. This bill puts the authority in the hands of parents, as they know how their children are performing academically and what strain, if any, employment would put on their school work. Join us at the public hearing in the Senate Exec Dept and Admin Committee. For more information, including the opposition’s claims and suggested talking points, read Permission to Get a Job.



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2016: HOUSE SESSION, Rep Hall at 10:00am
full NH House will vote on the following bills

SB 326, relative to the membership of the community college system of New Hampshire board of trustees.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, 19-0

***SB 503-FN-A, relative to pre-kindergarten education using “pay for success” financing.
committee recommendation — Inexpedient to Legislate, 16-4
position — OPPOSE the bill, YEA on ITL
information — This is similar to SB 69 (2015), but takes it a major step further. Instead of a study committee like last year, the current bill would create a commission to implement a public preschool program funded through “pay for success” or social impact bonds (SIBs). These “pay for success” experiments are still unproven to justify a launch in New Hampshire. The bill’s original fiscal note is for $10M to support a grade level outside compulsory attendance. NH has many other important commitments to our public education system than to support an optional and experimental program. To complicate the proposal even more, these early childhood programs do not produce long-term gains for our youngest learners. For more information, read Noble Goals Funded with Public-Private Partnerships — What Could Go Wrong?. Also read Noble Goals of Pre-K Programs Fail to Deliver and Testimony for SB 69 that reference the 2015 bill, but still apply to the current one. For more information on social impact bonds, read Are Governments “Paying for Failure” With Social Impact Bonds” by Governing, August 2015.


THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016: SENATE SESSION, Senate Chamber at 10:00am
full NH Senate will vote on the following bills

HB 1130, relative to placement on school property of a memorial or memorial plaque honoring those who have died during military service.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 5-0

HB 1372, permitting a child with a disability to use audio or video recording devices in the classroom.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 5-0
position — SUPPORT
information — This supports students who have IEPs requiring adaptive technology.

**HB 1231, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material.
committee recommendation — Inexpedient to Legislate, 4-1
position — SUPPORT the bill, NAY on ITL
information — The bill as introduced is the same as HB 332 from last year that passed both the House and Senate, but was vetoed by the governor. It seeks to address a gap in RSA 186:11 IX-c  by requiring parents be given  two weeks advanced notice and access to classroom materials for subjects pertaining to human sexuality. While this statute can be used for any subject, it does not address the loop hole that parents must first be aware of what material is being used and when. The bill would allow parents to make informed decisions regarding their children’s education. At the House Education Committee’s public hearing, the prime sponsor introduced a friendly amendment to address the concerns brought up with SB 369 recently with respect to drug and alcohol awareness instruction. For more information, read Parents’ Rights Vetoed by Governor Hassan about the 2015 bill.

*HB 1232, relative to visits to schools by non-academic government or private organizations.
committee recommendation — Inexpedient to Legislate, Vote 3-1
position — SUPPORT the bill, NAY on ITL
information — This bill protects student privacy from non-educational state agencies and private companies who may enter classrooms. This bill would require districts to create a policy informing parents with at least 10 days advance notice and the purpose of the visit. It also provides an opt-out for parents who don’t wish their children to be part of the visit. This supports parental rights and improves privacy protections.

HB 1644-FN, relative to screening and intervention for dyslexia and related disorders and establishing a reading specialist position in the department of education.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, Vote 5-0
position — OPPOSE, NAY on OTP
information — This bill would create an entirely new specialist level within the state Department of Education, at an increased cost of roughly $100,000 each year. It is also duplicative of services already in place. (Source: NH Liberty Alliance)



To contact the entire House Education Committee, you may send one email to The General Court website is experiencing several technical difficulties (the committee’s email is not always working), so consider contact the Representatives directly. Particularly mention if you are a constituent. Emails for each member of the House Education Committee are as follows:

To find your Representatives, go to “Who’s My Legislator?” Brief and polite phone calls and emails are effective, especially if you mention you are a constituent. Mass emails are far less effective, but the email for all Reps is

 To find your NH senator, and his or her contact information, refer to the senate’s roster page, or you can email all of them at Those with an asterisk serve on the Senate Education Committee. Those with the plus sign are on the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee, the committee handling the youth labor bill, HB 1301.

 +Jeff Woodburn — District 1, Dalton

 Jeanie Forrester — District 2, Meredith

 Jeb Bradley — District 3, Wolfeboro

 *David Watters — District 4, Dover

 David Pierce — District 5, Lebanon

 +Sam Cataldo — District 6, Farmington

 Andrew Hosmer — District 7, Laconia

 Gerald Little — District 8, Weare

 Andy Sanborn — District 9, Bedford

 *Molly Kelly — District 10, Keene

 Gary Daniels — District 11, Milford

 *Kevin Avard — District 12, Nashua

 Bette Lasky — District 13, Nashua

 +Sharon Carson — District 14, Londonderry

 Dan Feltes — District 15, Concord

 David Boutin — District 16, Hooksett/Manchester

 *+John Reagan  — District 17, Deerfield

 +Donna Soucy — District 18, Manchester

 Regina Birdsell — District 19, Hampstead/Windham/Derry

 Lou D’Allesandro — District 20, Manchester

 Martha Fuller Clark — District 21, Portsmouth

 Chuck Morse —  District 22, Salem

 Russell Prescott — District 23, Kingston

 *Nancy Stiles — District 24, Hampton