Education Bills Scheduled for Week of February 8, 2016

The following is the legislative schedule for the week of February 8, 2016. Some bills are starting to work their way through the committee to the entire House for a vote. They are clearly marked and we encourage the public to contact all of their representatives. However, most of the bills are scheduled for a public hearing which is the opportunity to provide testimony or commentary. This is the best chance to communicate with the committee members and share your opinion on the bills. The public may sign the sheet (near the room entrance) to indicate support or opposition to any bill. The public may give spoken or written testimony (it’s helpful to provide copies for each member plus the committee secretary) and indicate that on the pink card (for the House) or sign-in sheet (for the Senate). If you are unable to attend the hearings, email the committee, or better yet, call them individually and indicate if you are a constituent. Contact information for the House and Senate Education Committees are at the end of this post. The public has until the executive sessions to make an impact on the committees’ recommendations, which is very influential when the entire body votes. Several bills are scheduled for executive sessions this week.

There is another important education-related bill, HB 1192 relative to the tax-credit scholarship program, in the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill will be exec’d on Thursday, February 11 at 2:00pm. More information, including the committee’s contact information, is below.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016: HOUSE SESSION, Rep Hall at 10:00am
full NH House vote on the following bills
**HB 1563-FN-LOCAL, relative to funding for full-day kindergarten pupils.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, 10-9
position — NAY on OTP
information — Kindergarten is not included in compulsory school attendance (RSA 193:1), and is therefore optional to families. Our public school system has many needs that are not sufficiently addressed (such as catastrophic and building aid) that should have a higher priority than funding an optional program. Many communities already offer full-day kindergarten. If this bill passes, it will discourage those that offer half-day programs. Additionally, the benefits of full-day vs half-day Kindergarten program are short-lived at best. This bill was highly debated in the committee’s exec session was nearly issued an Inexpedient to Legislate recommendation.

**HB 1604-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to exceptional student education programs and providing funding therefor.
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, 19-2
position — NAY on OTP/A
This bill was completely rewritten in the executive session and bears no resemblance to the original bill. The amendment is located within the part of statute involving the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program. It is prescriptive of “instructional methods” and curriculum at the state level, in violation of RSA 193-E:2-a,V and against local control. It also puts statewide competencies and the experimental and integrated PACE assessments into statute which the Board of Education needs authorized because the waiver expires August 1, 2016.


public hearings for the following bill
1:00 p.m. HB 1274, establishing a committee to study the efficacy of changes in the community college system of New Hampshire.

1:40 p.m. Full committee work sessions on the following bills
HB 1274, establishing a committee to study the efficacy of changes in the community college system of New Hampshire
HB 1303, relative to withdrawal from a cooperative school district
HB 1364, relative to the membership of the cooperative school district budget committee
HB 1283, relative to school notification of a change in placement.

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


executive session for the following bill
2:00 p.m. HB 1192, repealing the education tax credit.
position — OPPOSE
information — They’re at it again…for the third attempt. Once again there is a contingent who think private donations belong to the state. Just as donations to other private organizations like the Red Cross or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital are charitable donations, so are those made to the Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire (formerly the Network for Educational Opportunity). It is just as absurd to argue that someone’s income belongs to the state before he/she pays taxes. This young scholarship program has helped 243 children and awarded $300,000 of scholarships in its first three years of operation. It helps needy New Hampshire families afford tuition at out-of-district public and private schools, and covers many homeschooling expenses. Wealthy families already have choice; this program puts those educational options — funded with private donations — within reach for underprivileged NH children. For more information, read What Do They Have Against Needy Students? based on the 2015 repeal attempt.


public hearings for the following bills
***9:30 a.m. HB 1637-FN, relative to school attendance in towns with no public schools.
position — SUPPORT
information — This bill clarifies in statute that small towns without their own public schools may offer alternative arrangements for their students, regardless of grade level. These agreements could be made with area public and private schools. This is consistent with RSA 194:22 and RSA 193:1. It is also in line with other NH districts creating tuition agreements with private schools, even some out of state, including Pinkerton in DerryKimball Union Academy in Meriden, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood,  Fryeberg Academy in Maine, as well as Thetford Academy and St. Johnsbury Academy in VermontPlease attend the public hearing to support this bill. For more information regarding Croydon’s program, read NH DOE Fails to Get Injunction Against Croydon and Response to the NH DOE and Attorney General.

10:30 a.m. HB 1372, permitting a child with a disability to use audio or video recording devices in the classroom.
position — SUPPORT
information — This supports students who have IEPs requiring adaptive technology.

11:00 a.m. HB 1484, relative to the election of members of the state board of education.
11:30 a.m. HB 1431, relative to academic freedom and whistleblower protection.
Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.


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

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering HB 1192, a repeal of the tax-credit scholarship program. The committee can be emailed at HouseWays&

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: