Important House Votes on March 11, 2015

The following education bills will be voted on by the entire House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 11th. Please contact your Representatives today. A brief phone call is most effective, but an email is helpful. Reps often don’t hear from constituents at all, so your effort can make a powerful difference.

To find your Representatives, go to “Who’s My Legislator?” The email for all Reps is

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
House session, Representatives’ Hall at 10:00am

HB 303, relative to statewide assessment standards and relative to parental consent for psychological services to students
position — NAY on ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate)
more information — This bill is consistent with previous legislative intents to keep dispositional (values, beliefs, and behaviors) questions out of assessments, and would require parental consent prior to psychological services; see Maintaining Legislative Intent and Respecting Parental Rights

**HB 317, relative to contracts between schools and school districts
position — NAY on ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate)
more information — This bill expands RSA 194:22, to include elementary and middle school students to the provision that allows districts to contract with other public and non-public schools for high school students; it is consistent with current practices around the state where districts contract-out students to Pinkerton (in Derry), Kimball Union Academy (in Meriden), and Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (in Northwood); given the moratorium on school-building aid and decreasing student populations across the state, this is a prudent fiscal option for many districts; this bill is directly relevant to the recent announcement by the NH Department of Education that Croydon must immediately end their tuition agreement with private schools although their program is similar to those mentioned above

HB 332, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material
position — YEA on OTP (Ought to Pass)
more information — This bill is consistent with parents’ rights to opt-out of controversial materials for his/her own student found in RSA 186:11, IX-c; it also seeks prior notification to parents from the schools and availability of the materials ahead of time so parents can make informed decisions regarding their children’s education; also see A Parent’s Right to Opt-Out

**HB 563, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils
position — YEA on OTP/A (Ought to Pass as amended)
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

HB 578-FN, relative to state board of education compliance with unfunded federal education mandates
position — YEA on OTP (Ought to Pass)
additional information — This bill protects districts from unfunded mandates that may result when the state DOE accepts federal grants or enters contracts for federal education programs; it is consistent with Part 1 Article 28-A of the NH Constitution which prohibits the state from downshifting costs to school districts

**HB 603, relative to student exemptions from assessments, questionnaires, or surveys
position — YEA on OTP (Ought to Pass)
more information — This bill explicitly reinforces parents’ rights to opt out their child from academic and non-academic materials; state statute does not trump federal law and SCOTUS rulings; neither amendment in the House Calendar address student privacy, only the original bill prevents the public from obtaining student refusal forms under the Right to Know law; this bill is necessary to refute the NH DOE’s Technical Advisories which districts are mistakenly using to trample parents’ rights; see A Parent’s Right to Opt-Out, Do Federal Funds Incentivize Schools to Compromise Parents’ Rights? and¬† Controversial Surveys and Questionnaires Need Opt-Out