Education Bills Scheduled for Week of April 4, 2016

The following is the legislative schedule for the week of April 4, 2016. The House finished “cross over” a week ago, and now the House and Senate have traded most bills. There are a few especially important bills this week, identified with asterisk marks. 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. This commission will meet again on April 11 and April 18.


Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. HB 1300, relative to the content of patriotic exercises in public schools.

9:15 a.m. HB 1497, relative to the limits on disclosure of information used on college entrance exams.
position — SUPPORT
information — This is a positive privacy policy. It would have testing agencies destroy personal information once the assessment is completed, verified, and transmitted to the district or school so it cannot be used for additional test-data analysis. The common college admission tests, the SAT and ACT, are exempt from this legislation.

9:35 a.m. **HB 1231, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material.
position — SUPPORT
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.

9:55 a.m. *HB 1232, relative to visits to schools by non-academic government or private organizations.
position — SUPPORT
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.



Public hearings for the following bills

9:30 a.m. SB 326, relative to the membership of the community college system of New Hampshire board of trustees.

10:00 a.m. ***SB 503-FN-A, relative to pre-kindergarten education using “pay for success” financing.
position — OPPOSE
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). This new kind of funding for social policy change has not demonstrated success. The first program of this type, a NYC program to help teenage inmates was an official failure. Currently Utah has a “pay for success” early education program in place, but their boasts were determined to be inflated due to poorly defined goals. These “pay for success” experiments are still unproven to justify a launch in New Hampshire. The bill’s 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, the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) admits in a 2012 report that the longest running federal preschool program, Head Start, is a dismal failure. These early childhood programs do not produce long-term gains for our youngest learners. The preschool programs that showed success were exorbitantly expensive and in small studies that do not scale to a statewide program. 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.

11:00 a.m. Executive session on the following bills

SB 483-FN, (New Title) establishing a committee to study the necessity of creating a chartered public school program officer position and to study appropriations to chartered public schools for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2016: HOUSE SESSION, Rep Hall at 10:00am
full NH House will vote on the following bills

SB 460, authorizing the state board of education to adopt rules relative to child sexual abuse and healthy relationships.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, 20-0  (amendment #1196h)

SB 152, (New Title) relative to criminal history records checks for school employees and designated school volunteers
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 17-2

***SB 320, relative to non-academic surveys administered by a public school to its students.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, 11-9  (amendment #1143h)
position — SUPPORT, yea on OTP/A
information — This bill is the result of the study committee created in HB 206 (2015) that required further research of non-academic surveys and questionnaires administered in our public schools. It recognizes that these surveys often include personal questions and students should not be compelled to participate. We also know that students are being required to share this information in class work when it is not optional or anonymous. The hearing was heavily attended by organizations that financially benefit from students’ private information. While our young people may benefit from the social programs, that does not justify ignoring privacy and parents’ rights to direct their under-aged children’s education. Let the organizations and schools persuade parents regarding the benefits to obtain active consent. There are mechanisms already in place for schools to obtain opt-in permission such as for field trips. The committee introduced a friendly amendment to clarify the version passed by the Senate. The Senate amended the bill to exempt the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the active consent policy. This is an acceptable compromise that balances funding for important social programs yet recognizes parents’ needs to protect their students’ privacy. This compromise will help thousands of parents protect their under-age students from most (although not all) of these intrusive surveys. For more information, read Non-Academic Surveys and Parents’ Rights.


THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2016: SENATE SESSION, Senate Chamber at 10:00am
full NH Senate will vote on the following bills

HB 1121, relative to the academic areas that comprise the statewide assessment.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, 3-0

HB 1225, permitting high school students who are members of the armed forces to wear their uniforms at graduation.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 4-0

HB 1283, relative to school notification of a change in placement.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 4-0


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.

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