Important Senate Votes on April 23, 2015

The following education bills will be voted on by the entire state senate on Thursday, April 23rd. The Senate Education Committee introduced amendments to three of the bills given an Ought to Pass (OTP) recommendation.

Please contact your senator today. A brief phone call is most effective, but an email is helpful. Senators rarely hear from constituents at all, so your effort can make a powerful difference. Refer to the senate roster to find your senator’s contact information.

**Update: The session has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 30, 2015.

 

SENATE SESSION, Senate Chamber, 10:00am

HB 124, relative to the implementation of new college and career readiness standards
committee recommendation — Inexpedient to Legislate, Vote 4-1
position — NAY on ITL, YEA on OTP
more information — This bill requires the state Board of Education to hold public hearings in all executive council districts prior to adopting or implementing any new standards, including additional College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core). This bill encourages transparency and accountability.

HB 142, relative to student social media policies by educational institutions
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 4-0
position — YEA on OTP/A, but it should not apply to private schools
more information — The Senate Education Committee introduced an amendment (see link above) that makes it voluntary for a student to share a printed copy of the social media communication in question. Read Another Effort to Protect Students’ Social Media Privacy Rights.

HB 206, relative to non-academic surveys or questionnaires given to students
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 4-0
position — NAY on OTP/A, YEA on OTP/A as amended by the House
more information — The committee’s amendment turns this bill into a study committee. This is very disappointing as there is a well-documented need for this legislation now. Also read Do Federal Funds Incentivize Schools to Compromise Parents’ Rights? and Controversial Surveys and Questionnaires Need Opt-Out.

HB 332, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass with Amendment, Vote 3-2
position — YEA on OTP/A
more information — The committee’s amendment outlines the requirements districts must include in the development of a policy for parental notification. This is an improvement on the version passed by the House. 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 in advance so parents can make informed decisions regarding their children’s education. Also see A Parent’s Right to Opt-Out.

HB 520, establishing privacy protections for student online personal information
committee recommendation — Ought to Pass, Vote 4-0
position — YEA on OTP
more information — This bill requires privacy protections of the various outside companies that NH schools hire to provide educational services to students.

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