Schedule for Week of February 25, 2019

The main activity this week is in Rep Hall when the NH House of Representatives will vote on several school-choice bills regarding chartered public schools and education funding. This is the time to contact your own state representatives; you can find them here. Remember, calls are most effective while emails are helpful. We are monitoring numerous bills this year and those include our analysis and commentary. Neither the Senate or House Education committees have anything scheduled this week.

Several adequacy funding bills, including HB 711, a bill that has a provision to cut state funding for chartered public schools in half, are scheduled for votes by the NH House on Wednesday and Thursday. HB 711 is on the consent calendar with an Inexpedient to Legislate recommendation from the House Education Committee. If confirmed by the entire House, the bill will die. However, any education funding bill could later be amended to include the same provision that slashes charter school funding. It is important to monitor all of them, roughly two dozen funding bills, to guard against that slipping through. Read more about HB 711 in Attack on Chartered Public Schools.

The House Ways and Means Committee will reconvene the public hearing on HB 632, the bill that seeks to repeal the Education Tax Credit (ETC) scholarship program, on Tuesday, March 5th starting at 1:00pm in the Legislative Office Building, room 202. Details about the hearing are available here. The committee held the first part of the public hearing on the ETC repeal bill earlier this month. It was a packed room and many people were unable to testify in the time allocated for the hearing. Please continue to contact the committee. Calls are best, but emails are helpful. We have a tool that sends emails to the committee as well as your own state representatives; the message can be customized for additional impact. We also have a page about the ETC scholarships that compiles relevant information on the background of NH’s program, how they work, constitutional issues, and media coverage – one-stop reading!

Legislators’ contact information is at the end.


OVERVIEW

Public hearings are the best opportunity to communicate with committee members and share your opinion. The Legislative Office Building (LOB) is located immediately behind the State House at 33 N. State Street in Concord. For Senate hearings, sign the white sheet on a side table just inside the door to indicate your support or opposition for a bill, and if you intend to speak. The protocol is a little different in the House. The public may sign the blue sheet near the room entrance to indicate support or opposition to any bill; fill out a pink card if you intend to speak. If possible, provide written copies for each member plus the committee secretary. Generally, committee chairmen limit remarks to three minutes or less. Personal stories are most effective. If you are unable to attend hearings, email the committee, or better yet, call members individually. Indicate if you are a constituent.

Bills may have an executive session any time after the public hearing. This is when the committee discusses and votes on legislation, and amendments may be introduced. The committee makes one of three recommendations: Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) which is to kill the bill; Ought to Pass (OTP) which is a recommendation to support the bill; or to send it to Interim Study (IS) which is to continue work on the bill. Committee recommendations are very influential when the entire chamber votes. Consequently, prompt action on legislation is highly recommended.

Once bills are exec’d, they are usually scheduled for a vote by the entire body soon after. This is when all members of the House or Senate will vote YEA (to support the committee’s recommendation) or NAY (to oppose the recommendation). When the House and Senate have sessions, we list all the bills we are following, even if they are on the Consent Calendars, because they may be pulled and individually voted on or a floor amendment may be introduced. Contact your legislators before the session day with brief, polite messages and mention you are a constituent.

Legislators’ contact information is at the end of this article.

Additional resources:

Legislative Process

Common Legislative Abbreviations and Terms

State Resources


SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 and THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019: NH HOUSE, Rep Hall

The NH House will vote on the following bills

HB 569-FN-L, relative to innovation schools.
Committee recommendation – Inexpedient to Legislate, vote 11 to 8
Position – NAY on ITL
HB 569 proposes a way of allowing more flexible use of resources among public schools within a single district or across districts. It allows schools that share common interests or serve similar cohorts of students to work cooperatively in such areas as school staffing, curriculum and assessment, class scheduling, use of financial and other resources, and faculty recruitment, employment, evaluation, and compensation. It may be used to enhance services in special education, gifted and talented resources, programs for students participating in English Language Learners, services for at-risk students, and more. This is a creative idea to enable local district schools to adapt to their communities’ needs and be responsive to budget constraints and declining student enrollment. This bill suggests a way for public schools to have more opportunities to be flexible and innovative to meet these challenges.

HB 673-FN-A, relative to the governor’s scholarship program to cover the costs of the college level examination program and making an appropriation therefor.
Committee recommendation – Inexpedient to Legislate, vote 11 to 8
Position – NAY on ITL
This bill expands the existing Governor’s Scholarship Program to include College Level Examination Program (CLEP) classes and exams. The Governor’s Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to current high-school students or recent graduates to attend post-secondary schools or technical training programs within NH. CLEP tests college-level knowledge in three dozen subjects for students to earn college credit. This bill expands educational opportunities to more students for their post-secondary goals.

HB 711-FN-L, relative to funding an adequate education.
Committee recommendation – Inexpedient to Legislate, vote 19 to 0
Position – YEA on ITL
A provision in this bill would cut state funding for chartered public schools in half, to only the per student state adequacy funding level. Charter schools already operate on one-third the total funding that other public schools receive. This bill, if enacted, would likely close our charter schools, forcing nearly 4,000 chartered public-school students back into their local public schools, environments that are not the best fit for them, and at a higher cost to taxpayers. Read more in Attack on Chartered Public Schools.


CONTACT INFO for LEGISLATORS

To find your NH senator, and his or her contact information, refer to the senate’s roster page.

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.

The lists of education committee members with their contact information are available here. Brief phone calls are most effective; personal stories can be particularly compelling. Mention if you are a constituent.

The Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee list is below.

[table id=17 /]

 

The House Education Committee list is below. A list of the committee members’ emails is below the table for an easy copy/paste.

[table id=19 /]

 

Mel.Myler@leg.state.nh.us
dluneauNH@gmail.com
beshaw3@comcast.net
patricia.cornell@leg.state.nh.us
Tamara.Le@leg.state.nh.us
David.Doherty@leg.state.nh.us
linda.tanner@leg.state.nh.us
Art.Ellison@leg.state.nh.us
Sue.Mullen@leg.state.nh.us
Cole.Riel@leg.state.nh.us
Mark.Vallone@leg.state.nh.us
Steve.Woodcock@leg.state.nh.us
ladd.nhhouse@charter.net
glenn.cordelli@leg.state.nh.us
JC.Allard@leg.state.nh.us
bob.elliott@leg.state.nh.us
Dan.Wolf@leg.state.nh.us
rgboehm@comcast.net
docrlf@yahoo.com
rep.alicia.lekas@gmail.com