Schedule for Week of January 29, 2018

The beginning-of-the-year deluge is finally subsiding with only two major bills this week:  HB 1492 expands Manifest Educational Hardship to consider the impact on students; and HB 1650 removes education from the purview of DCYF. These bills include our analysis and recommendations. As a courtesy, we list additional bills, meetings, and events relevant to education issues.


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 and indicate if you are a constituent.

Bills may have an executive session at any time after the public hearing. This is when the committee discusses and votes on legislation; it is 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 chamber soon after. This is when all members of the NH House or Senate will vote YEA (to support the committee’s recommendation) or NAY (to oppose the recommendation). Contact your legislators before the session day with brief, polite messages and mention you are a constituent.

Education committee members’ contact information is at the end of the article. For other committees, their group email addresses are in the analysis.


SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 103, LOB

Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. SB 442, relative to surety indemnification requirements for private postsecondary career schools.

9:20 a.m. SB 432-FN-L, relative to an elective course in SAT preparation.

9:40 a.m. SB 433, relative to the annual filing of statistical reports to the department of education.

10:00 a.m. SB 434, relative to school nurse certification.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEEE, ROOM 207, LOB

Public hearings for the following bills

9:30 a.m. HB 1258, relative to the advanced manufacturing education advisory council.

10:00 a.m. HB 1498, relative to alternate certification pathways for career and technical education instructors.

11:00 a.m. HB 1572-L, relative to alternative transportation of students for public school activities.

11:30 a.m. HB 1277, relative to the renomination of teachers.

1:00 p.m. *** HB 1492, relative to a course of action when a child’s attendance at a school has resulted in a manifest educational hardship.

Position – SUPPORT the bill

Information – Families are the ones best positioned to identify if a situation presents a hardship for their children. Often times, families seek options when they have concerns regarding academic fit and safety. Unfortunately, most cases of Manifest Educational Hardship (MEH) brought before local school boards are denied. Of all the cases appealed to the state Board of Education in the past 12 years, only one was reversed for the family. House Bill 1492 specifies Manifest Educational Hardship must consider “the best interest of the child” and take families’ as well as medical professionals’ recommendations into account. It also expands options school districts may utilize including “another action that may offer relief.” This bill empowers families to seek relief for their child and allows local school boards a broader consideration of MEH and ways to address those circumstances. This bill considers the family’s perspectives on decisions regarding their children’s education when they are most in need. True accountability is to families. HB 1492 allows for more educational options within the public-school system. Read more about MEH, including two recent stories about NH families who have struggled to reach solutions for their children, in Manifest Educational Hardship, a Needed Release-Valve.

1:30 p.m. HB 1637, requiring school districts to establish policies relating to suspensions and expulsions

2:15 p.m. ** HB 1432, requiring certain schools to establish nondiscrimination and employee background check policies.

Position – OPPOSE the bill

Information – This bill would seek to impose redundant requirements on private schools that they must already satisfy via federal laws regarding nondiscrimination and background checks. The proposed requirements also go beyond those applied to public schools; as an example, district schools do not perform background checks on volunteers. This bill is retaliation to the Education Savings Account bill, SB 193, which already includes relevant nondiscrimination laws. Further, the bill seeks to apply these requirements to schools that accept students using tax-credit programs; however, these programs do not use public funds and are sourced via private donations from individuals and businesses. This is an intrusion in the operation of private organizations and businesses.

2:45 p.m. HB 1559, relative to certification requirements for assistant principals.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018: HOUSE CHILDREN & FAMILY LAW, ROOM 206, LOB

Public hearing for the following bill

2:00 p.m. *** HB 1650, removing education as required by law as a criterion for determining child neglect.

Position – SUPPORT the bill

Information – This simple bill removes education as a component of neglect and responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). HB 1650 treats homeschool investigations the same as other educational cases which are handled by the state Department of Education and local school districts. Compliance with compulsory attendance applies to all children age 6 to 18, including homeschoolers. HB 1650 allows DCYF to focus on higher priority investigations.; it removes education-only investigations from DCYF which is poorly equipped or trained to evaluate education concerns. Instead it places responsibility in the hands of the state DOE and local districts through existing compulsory education and truancy statutes. Further, it places homeschoolers on a level playing field with families who choose public or private schools. Finally, if a home-educating family is investigated for educational neglect, current statute requires them to maintain the Letters of Intent and acknowledgements from their Participating Agencies, reading logs, work samples, and year-end assessments which provide evidence against such charges. This bill does not alter investigations that go beyond educational concerns. HB 1650 takes away a big fear home-educating families face – that their children could be removed from their homes by DCYF simply because of paperwork errors or misunderstandings with education statutes. Homeschooling is not abuse and should not be treated as such. The entire committee can be emailed at CFL@leg.state.nh.us. Read more in Homeschooling is Not Neglect.

 

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 103, LOB

Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. SB 435, relative to alternative programs for granting credit leading to graduation.

9:15 a.m. SB 436, relative to tuition in the community college system.

9:30 a.m. SB 437, relative to the robotics education development program.

9:45 a.m. SB 441, relative to final grades in schools.

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018: STATE ADVISORY COMMITTEE on the EDUCATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (SAC), MONTHLY MEETING, snow date is February 14th

4:30 p.m. Department of Education, Londergan Hall, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord

Their agendas and minutes are available here.

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MONTHLY MEETING

9:00 a.m.  Department of Education, Londergan Hall, room 13, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord

Their agendas and minutes are available here.


CONTACT LEGISLATORS

The Senate and House Education Committee members with contact information is available here. Brief phone calls are most effective, but personalized emails directed to an individual are also helpful; mention if you are a constituent. Personal stories and messages are helpful. At the bottom we’ve supplied a list of the House committee members’ emails for an easy copy/paste.

 

To contact the Senate Education Committee, email or call them directly. Members of senate committees do not have a shared email address.

[table id=4 /]

 

To contact the entire House Education Committee, you may send one email to HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. Brief phone calls are most effective, but personalized emails directed to an individual are also helpful; mention if you are a constituent. At the bottom we’ve supplied a list of the committee members’ emails for an easy copy/paste.

 

[table id=5 /]

ladd.nhhouse@charter.net

terry.wolf@leg.state.nh.us

beshaw3@comcast.net

glenn.cordelli@leg.state.nh.us

bob.elliott@leg.state.nh.us

carolyn.halstead@leg.state.nh.us

Mel.Myler@leg.state.nh.us

patricia.cornell@leg.state.nh.us

jimgreniersullivan7@gmail.com

josh.moore@leg.state.nh.us

Mary.Heath@leg.state.nh.us

David.Doherty@leg.state.nh.us

joe@joepitre.com

patchessul@comcast.net

Wayne.Burton@leg.state.nh.us

linda.tanner@leg.state.nh.us

Mary.Gile@leg.state.nh.us