House Bill 1637, the school choice for small towns bill, was corrupted by the Senate with amendment #1736s which would require private schools to adopt Common Core and administer the aligned statewide assessments. This would harm private schools with existing tuition agreements with public school districts as well as the Croydon school choice program and the other small towns across the state interested in similar programs. The bill would also erase one of the critical distinctions between public and private schools.
Unfortunately, the version the House passed also has a flaw. The new text is placed in the responsibilities of parents section of statute instead of those for school boards. Both versions of HB 1637 will have a negative impact on Croydon’s program and others in the future.
Because the two legislative bodies passed different versions of the bill, HB 1637 is now heading back to the House. The House Education Committee must make a recommendation whether or not to concur with the Senate version or request a Committee of Conference to reconcile them. It could go badly for our efforts to support Croydon and school choice — too much would depend on how those negotiations go and who is named to the committee. Therefore, our best and most assured option is to kill the bill and not concur with the senate version.
URGENT — Contact the House Education Committee and your state representatives before May 11th! Urge them to reject the Senate’s version of HB 1637 with a non-concur decision and kill the bill.
This is terribly frustrating after all the work invested on this bill, but the costs would be too high to risk an uncertain outcome in the Committee of Conference.
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 email@example.com.
To contact the entire House Education Committee, you may send one email to HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. 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:
For additional information on HB 1637 and the Croydon school choice program, read the following articles.
Disaster in the Senate
Saving School Choice
School Choice for Small Towns Hits Snag in Senate