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Home » Updates » ANHPE Update 2/13/13: Voucher repeal on its way, charters and pre-K front and center

ANHPE Update 2/13/13: Voucher repeal on its way, charters and pre-K front and center

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Friends of New Hampshire Public Education,

House Ways and Means votes “Ought to Pass” on HB 370 – to repeal the voucher bill
The House Ways and Means Committee voted to recommend to the full house that HB 370 “Ought to Pass.”  Here is my post about the vote.  This is a significant statement by Ways and Means and is likely to carry a lot of weight with members of the House.  The problem will still be the Senate, where Senator Nancy Stiles’ vote against repeal is likely to mean that HB 370 will fail in the Senate by a 12-12 vote.  It is still important to communicate with Sen. Stiles about this, but we’ll talk more about that if the bill passes the House as expected.

Charter schools front and center: what role will charters play in New Hampshire’s public school system?
There are 18 charter schools in New Hampshire and most are doing a good job.  Advocates want to authorize unlimited funding for charters as well as increase in the funding charters get for each student.  There are four charter school bills before the House.  I describe them in this post, Charter school legislation poses big questions for the State.

Yesterday, in response to last year’s mixup in charter school funding, the House Education Committee voted to recommend Ought to Pass on HB 299, the bill that authorizes unlimited funding for charters.  However, it now goes to the House Finance Committee where it is expected to be voted Inexpedient to Legislate (there’s more detail here).  It’s not clear what would happen to charter school funding at that point.

The real charter story is that House Education Committee Chair Mary Stuart Gile (D, Concord) is proposing to retain the remaining charter bills for interim study in order to take the time needed to clarify the role and impact of charter schools in New Hampshire.  Here is some background on charters in New Hampshire.  And here are some key questions about the role of charters in New Hampshire.

Early childhood development
The potential for public support for early childhood development is such an important issue for New Hampshire that we have been posting a lot about it this year.  So it was notable that President Obama featured universal access to pre-K education in last night’s State of the Union address.  Since New Hampshire is one of the few states without some form of public support for early childhood development, will we be able to take advantage of this great opportunity?  Let me know what you think.

Education Funding in New Hampshire
This issue is asleep right now because there is no constitutional amendment in active development and SB 40, to maintain funding at the current levels, passed the Senate 23-0 and is working its way through the House.  The House Finance Committee will vote on it tomorrow, 2/14/2013 at 1:00 PM in LOB 210-211.

However, the Stiles/Richardson education funding amendment may come forward again next year and the Governor is open to considering a targeting amendment so we will continue to post information about the issue from time to time.

In support of a great education for our kids,

Bill


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