On May 14, 2015, the New Hampshire senate passed House Bill 603, a bill that explicitly reinforces parents’ rights to refuse their children’s participation in assessments without penalty. This was a major victory because the Senate Education Committee’s Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL, or kill the bill) recommendation had to be overturned. The ITL motion failed in a roll call vote. Sen. Kevin Avard made the motion to pass the bill, which succeeded in a voice vote. To see the senate discussion, watch this video by Education Matters. HB 603 now advances to Governor Hassan’s office. She may allow it to pass into law with or without her signature, or veto the bill. Please contact her, asking her to respect parents’ rights to direct their children’s education. Below are suggested talking points.
Governor Maggie Hassan
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- HB 603 will require school districts to provide an alternative educational activity during assessments such as working individually on homework or reading a book.
- This bill is necessary to refute the NH DOE’s Technical Advisories that districts are using to trample parents’ rights and deny participation refusals for their children’s participation.
- The state DOE commissioner, Dr. Virginia Barry believes there is no opt-out choice in NH statute, so this is explicitly needed to reinforce Supreme Court of the US rulings that recognize parent’s rights to direct their children’s education.
- No state or school district has lost federal funding due to lower participation rates.
- Parents’ rights should not be compromised to chase federal dollars.