We are fully into “crossover” when the House and Senate trade surviving bills for another round of public hearings and exec sessions. None of our top-priority bills have public hearing this week, but we anticipate they will soon. Stay tuned!
Below is the upcoming schedule for the next couple weeks; we include our analysis and recommendations for priority bills. As a courtesy, we list additional bills, meetings, and events relevant to education issues.
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.
TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018: SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 103, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills
9:00 a.m. HB 1217, amending the certification requirements for school nurses.
9:15 a.m. HB 1228, removing the limitation on a chartered public school incurring long term debt.
9:30 a.m. HB 1258, relative to the advanced manufacturing education advisory council.
9:45 a.m. HB 1480, relative to the membership of the board of trustees of a chartered public school.
10:00 a.m. HB 1493, relative to the statewide assessment system of performance in schools.
10:15 a.m. HB 1494, relative to the definition of academic standards.
TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 207, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills
9:30 a.m. SB 441, relative to final grades in schools.
9:50 a.m. SB 349, relative to course requirements in a career and technical education program.
10:10 a.m. SB 524-FN, relative to head injury policies for the community college system of New Hampshire and the university system of New Hampshire.
10:45 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.
11:15 a.m. SB 382, relative to withdrawal from cooperative school districts.
11:35 a.m. SB 433, relative to the annual filing of statistical reports to the department of education.
1:00 p.m. SB 435, relative to alternative programs for granting credit leading to graduation.
1:30 p.m. SB 437, relative to the robotics education development program.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIOVES, Rep Hall at 10:00am
Full NH House will vote on the following bill
Committee recommendation – Ought to Pass with Amendment (#2018-1053h), 23 to 0
Position – SUPPORT the bill, YEA on OTP/A
Information – These are technical corrections to the administration of the established tax-credit education program. They align to other established education budget processes.
THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 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. The original meeting for March 8th is postponed to March 22nd.
TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2018: HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ROOM 207, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills
10:00 a.m. SB 436, relative to tuition in the community college system.
10:30 a.m. SB 442, relative to surety indemnification requirements for private postsecondary career schools.
11:00 a.m. SB 434, relative to school nurse certification.
11:30 a.m. SB 358, relative to reorganization of the department of education.
1:00 p.m. SB 432-FN-L, establishing a commission to study whether it is in the best interest of students to require schools to offer an SAT preparation course as an elective.
WEDSDAY, APRIL 4, 2018: HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE DIV II, LOB 210-211
Work session on the following bill
Position – Support the bill
Information — The House Finance Committee will hold another work session on Wednesday, April 4th when they are expected to introduce another amendment. ESAs are the next step in educational options for children across the Granite State. All students, regardless of their zip code and income level, deserve the opportunity for an education that fits their unique needs and goals. Even if 5% of eligible students participate in the ESA program – that is more than double the utilization seen in other states with ESAs – districts will retain roughly 99% of current funding, including all local money and federal grants. This is not a hardship to districts and they are compensated for children they no longer have a responsibility to educate. As a state we have an obligation to fund each child’s education, not one possible provider of that education. We would rather focus on people instead of systems and buildings. Even if the committee severely restricts eligibility, each child’s education and future matters. If the ESA can only help a few hundred children, it is still a big impact on their individual lives and the program can grow in the future. Additional articles about ESAs regarding the financial impact, constitutionality, and effect on NH families are available in ESA Articles.
THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018: HOME EDUCATION ADVISORY COUNCIL (HEAC)
3:30 p.m. Department of Education, Londergan Hall, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord
Their schedule and minutes are available here. The original meeting for March 8th is postponed to April 12th. Read about the council’s recent activity at Opportunity for HEAC to Prove Its Value, Slow Progress for HEAC and Educational Neglect Bill, What is HEAC’s Purpose, and Is HEAC Ignoring Rules.
Brief phone calls are most effective, but personalized emails directed to an individual are also helpful; mention you are a constituent.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. At the bottom we’ve supplied a list of the committee members’ emails for an easy copy/paste.
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Send a note to your state representatives and House Finance members in support of ESAs with this easy email form. If you want to compose your own message, we developed tips and information; resources with links can be found in Contact Legislators re ESAs.
To contact the entire House Finance Committee, you may send one email to HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. Below is the list of the members’ contact information as well as a simplified email list for an easy copy/paste.
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