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Home » Manifest Educational Hardship » The Oct. 12, 2017 SBOE meeting: social studies standards, manifest educational hardship, charters and more

The Oct. 12, 2017 SBOE meeting: social studies standards, manifest educational hardship, charters and more

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Here are the agenda the full board packet and the video:


Social Studies Advisory Panel

The department of education is undertaking an informal social studies standards review.  No plan or budget has been proposed but SBOE agrees with the many commenters over recent months that New Hampshire social studies standards need revision.   Therefore, SBOE has formed an an expert panel to advise the board on the direction standards development should take.  Chairman Cline proposed and the board agreed to the initial seven members of the panel (listed here).  The board will seek additional elementary and middle school representation and economics expertise.  In response to the effective advocacy of the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education, the board has placed Martha Madsen on the panel and anticipates development of first-ever civics education standards for the State.

Manifest Educational Hardship

Starting a year ago, the board followed its rulemaking process, anticipating a normal review to update an expiring rule.  Stakeholders met and negotiated, a hearing was held and the board proposed a final rule in February of 2017.  However, the department has brought forward a fundamentally different view of what should be in the rule under which parents would, with little constraint, be able to require their school districts to reassign their child to virtually any public or private school.  The district would pay the tuition from local property tax revenue.

You can see New Hampshire Legal Assistance attorney Michelle Wangerin and school boards attorney Jim O’Shaughnessy testify in public comment  here at 0;57 in the video about the board’s and the department’s proposed rules.  In a departure from normal practice, chairman Cline and commissioner Edelblut engage in a Q&A with the attorneys.

This same debate is likely to continue in the next legislative session as House Education chair Rick Ladd (R, Haverhill) is developing a bill (LSR 2530) to make fundamental changes to the manifest educational hardship statute.  We discuss the details of the rule proposal that are likely to resurface in the legislative debate here.

In the meantime, the SBOE has not accepted this view and voted on October 12 to proceed with the proposed rule they had developed with the input of stakeholders and hearing testimony.  The public hearing on the proposed rule will be held at the November 9 SBOE meeting, time to be set when the meeting agenda is final.

Annual Report on NH Public Charter Schools

David Quigley, who has consulted to the department on charter school management for two months gave an impressive and complete report on basic charter school statistics and on his observations about how to move forward.  You can see his report here at 1:50:48 in the video.  Though it will change, here is the draft report, including, on the last two pages, Mr. Quigley’s recommendations for revising the charter school approval process.

Director of the Division of Higher Education Nominated

The department held the statutorily required consultation on the governor’s nomination for Director of the Division of Higher Education, Mr. Michael Seidel.  Here is Mr. Seidel’s resume.  The board generally commented that, although the nominee appeared to be an experienced business consultant, he had no education or higher education experience.

DOE Reorganization

The commissioner proposed a controversial reorganization last spring but could not get the legislation passed.  Instead, HB 356 was amended with modest reorganization authority requiring consultation with the SBOE.  This was the consultation and the board commented that commissioner’s proposal appeared to exceed that HB 356 authority and would require statutory change before it could be implemented.  The commissioner disagreed, saying the legislative committee had already approved his plan.  Subsequently, the HB 356 issued its final report stating the legislation would be required.


  1. Kathleen Murphy says:

    How can the NH DoE conduct a Social Studies Curriculum Study and not invite
    Representation from Elementary and Middle Schools
    Also noted Superintendents or Building Principals were not asked to participate

    • ANHPE says:

      But the train hasn’t left. First, it’s important to recognize that that department’s social studies effort is an informal one, not an official SBOE standards setting. Also, it may well not have really started yet. Any educator could communicate to the department an interest in participating.

      But more importantly, the board has established its own advisory committee (listed here) to provide guidance on the standards it should adopt. It’s a good group so far and the board is definitely open to expanding it further. Please do make suggestions to the chair.

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