Friends of New Hampshire Public Education,
Voucher tax credit
Repeal The New Hampshire House passed HB 370, repeal of the voucher tax credit, yesterday by a vote of 188-151. It was almost a party-line vote, with a few switches on each side and a lot of absentees. See how your representative voted here. The schedule from here is not set. It could go to the Senate as late as March 28th. When it get’s there, it will go to the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee, Chaired by Sen. Nancy Stiles (R, Hampton). The committee will hold a public hearing at some point in April and then decide what to recommend. Voucher repeal is also part of the governor’s budget, so that could affect the committee’s action.
Court Case The hearing (it is called a hearing, but it is really the trial) will be at 11:00 AM at the Strafford County Courthouse on April 26. The whole trial will be on this one day and Judge Lewis will issue his opinion at some point after that. There is no need for a show of numbers here, but the trial will probably last only several hours so it would be easy to attend if you are interested. Here is our court challenge. And here is a mapshowing the courthouse location.
There’s more about voucher repeal here.
NHPR’s The Exchange broadcast today was on charter schools. The program was notable for the consensus expressed in support of charter schools done “the New Hampshire way,” as Scott McGilvray, president of the National Education Association of New Hampshire, put it, The New Hampshire way, in this context, was seen as establishing charters that serve specific needs supplementing what the traditional public schools already do. Governor Hassan had supported that idea in her budget address, saying that the she would give the New Hampshire Board of Education authority to “prioritize new charter school approval to underserved communities.” Sen. Stiles, House Education Committee Chair, Rep. Mary Gile, Board of Education Chair Tom Raffio and NEA NH President McGilvray all sounded supportive of the governor’s approach but also felt that this was a good juncture at which to step back, review charter and public school performance and clarify state charter school policy.
There is more about charters here.