Schedule for Week of January 8, 2018

Welcome to the start of the 2018 legislative session! The Senate and House Education Committees kick off with full schedules of public hearings. We are monitoring several bills and those will include our analysis and recommendations. As a courtesy, we list additional bills and meetings relevant to education issues. There are several bills regarding charter schools and cooperative district agreements in 2018; a handful have hearings this week. None of our top bills are scheduled this week, but the Education Savings Account bill, SB 193, and another impacting homeschoolers have public hearings coming up soon. 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 bills, 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. 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.

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


SCHEDULE

TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2018: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 103, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. SB 360, establishing a commission to study whether the department of education should be required to conduct criminal history records checks, via a fingerprint check, on all applicants for teacher certification.

9:10 a.m. SB 358, relative to reorganization of the department of education.

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEEE, ROOM 207, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills

9:30 a.m. HB 1469-L, relative to the dissolution of cooperative school districts.

10:15 a.m. HB 1598-L, relative to the vote to withdraw from a cooperative school district.

10:45 a.m. HB 1253, relative to membership of the cooperative school district budget committees.

11:15 a.m. HB 1452, relative to equalized property valuation used to apportion expenses in cooperative school districts.

1:00 p.m. HB 1594, relative to the disposition of property upon withdrawal from cooperative school districts.

2:00 p.m. HB 1370, relative to a school’s emergency management plan.

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION at 9:00AM
Department of Education, Londergan Hall, room 13, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEEE, ROOM 207, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills

9:30 a.m. HB 1348, relative to the annual audit report of public charter schools.

10:00 a.m. HB 1228, removing the limitation on a chartered public school incurring long term debt.

10:30 a.m. HB 1229, relative to the teachers’ voting requirement for becoming a charter conversion school.

11:00 a.m. HB 1480, relative to the membership of the board of trustees of a chartered public school.

11:25 a.m. HB 1333, relative to the criteria for teachers in charter schools.

1:00 p.m. HB 1765, relative to policies regarding chartered public schools.

1:25 p.m. HB 1351, relative to notification to parents by charter schools when a child’s teacher has not met certification requirements.

2:00 p.m. HB 1698-FN-L, relative to the cost of special education services for foster children.

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018: HOME EDUCATION ADVISORY COUNCIL (HEAC) at 3:30pm
Department of Education, Londergan Hall, room 13, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord

This is the regular bi-monthly meeting of the Home Education Advisory Council. It is open to the public.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2018: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 103, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. SB 349, relative to course requirements in a career and technical education program.

9:15 a.m. SB 361, relative to dual and concurrent enrollment agreements between high schools and colleges and universities.

9:30 a.m.SB 356, adding a representative from the community college system to the apprenticeship advisory council.

9:45 a.m. SB 355-FN, relative to the names of colleges in the community college system.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2018: HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE, ROOM 210-211, LOB
Public hearings for the following bill

1:30 p.m. *** SB 193-FN, establishing education freedom savings accounts for students.
Position – SUPPORT the bill
Information — Education Savings Accounts are funds that children receive to a designated account that are used for specified educational purposes selected by their families. Approved uses may include online classes, tutoring, textbooks, AP classes, assessments, special-needs services, dual-enrollment courses, private school tuition, homeschool expenses, and other education-related fees. They benefit the most vulnerable in our communities — those of lower-economics means and children with special needs. SB 193 includes several academic and financial accountability mechanisms that are reported to the legislature and state Department of Education. ESAs allow families to make educational decisions for their children based on their individual needs using funds that are already allocated for the child’s education. Even if 5% of eligible students participate in the ESA – this is double the utilization seen in other states with existing ESAs and what opponents project – local districts will retain 98.5% of current funding, including local property taxes and any federal grants. This is not a hardship to districts and within normal enrollment fluctuations. This shift recognizes that the state has an obligation to fund each child’s education, not only one possible provider of that education. Other states with discriminatory Blaine Amendments have ESA programs that have passed constitutional muster; the NH Attorney General’s office indicates the proposed ESA is consistent with NH’s Constitution. It is time for NH to value each child’s education over protecting a system that may not work for them. Email the entire committee at HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. Read more about ESAs and SB 193 here.

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018: HOUSE LABOR COMMITTEE, ROOM 307, LOB
Public hearing for the following bill

10:30 a.m. * HB 1321, relative to the hours youth are permitted to work
Position – SUPPORT the bill
Information – The current youth employment law, RSA 276-A, includes several restrictions in section four regarding the hours a teen may work during the traditional school day and school year. However, homeschoolers are not required to follow the local school district schedule or calendar. This simple bill removes the limitations that are tied to traditional school hours and days. This is important because schools recognize Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs) for course credits and it can impact students’ work-study opportunities. The NH Department of Education encourages district schools to offer ELOs to students as a way to gain “knowledge and skills through instruction or study outside the traditional classroom methodology.” Increasingly schools recognize the value of learning through apprenticeships, community service, internships, and other alternatives. Traditional public and private schools are increasingly offering ELOs as school-day educational options; the current hourly restrictions unfairly limit home-educated students. Email the entire committee at HouseLaborIndustrialandRehabilitativeServicesCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.


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.

 

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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.

 

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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