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Interesting exchange about Common Core costs in other states: it sure doesn’t cost much!

After his bill was ravaged in its hearing before the House Education Committee, Rep. Glenn Cordelli sent this email to his committee colleagues, together with these attachments, to make the case that other states had found the Common Core expensive to implement.  Rep. Myler responded that, based on the information Rep. Cordelli had sent, the opposite was the case – these states had determined that the new standards had not cost much at all!  And our experience in New Hampshire confirms that.

From Rep. Cordelli:

From: “Cordelli, Glenn” <Glenn.Cordelli@leg.state.nh.us>
To: “~House Education Committee” <HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us>
Subject: HB 1239 follow-up

Good afternoon.
I just wanted to follow-up on some of the discussion yesterday related to HB 1239 about other states doing analysis of implementation costs.
I have attached Common Core fiscal analysis from Indiana, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Washington St (see tables 8&9).
In addition, below are links to additional information:

Tennessee:
http://www.tncore.org/faqs.aspx

California:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/commoncore.asp

Virginia:
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2010/jun24.pdf

Thanks for your consideration.
Glenn

From Rep. Myler:

Fellow Education Committee member Rep. Mel Myler responded with the email below, including this attachment.

Rep. Cordelli,

Thank you for these links in your recent email.  However, I have found that these reports are much too voluminous and prohibitive for a detailed study.  Time just does not permit my total review of the data.  Must leave this to the professionals who are paid for critical analysis.  However, in scanning the material I did find some interesting information.  [See attached “Common Core – Fiscal Issues: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Washington, Tennessee“]

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Common Core debate – and education commissioner Virginia Barry – fire up crowd – Union Leader

Here is Dave Solomon’s write-up on yesterday’s hearing on a couple of the anti-Common Core bills.  An impressive list of Common Core supporters testified in opposition to the bills, many of whom have not spoken out before (more on that over the weekend).

But the highlight was Commissioner Barry’s impassioned plea that, after seven years of discussing the Common Core, the State should move on to do the real work for New Hampshire children:

CONCORD — Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry came ready for a fight at a legislative hearing Thursday, calling opponents of Common Core “misinformed.”

She accused them of attempting to deny local control to school districts that have been putting the standards in place for the past four years. “Asking for laws that prevent implementation flies in the face of local control,” she said.

Her passion was not lost on opponents at the House Education Committee hearing. “I have never seen Virginia Barry so fired up,” said Doris Hohensee, chairwoman of N.H. Families for Education.

The large hearing room in the Legislative Office Building was filled, with some of the 60 to 70 people lining the walls, as speakers took turns deriding or supporting two bills.

The hearings focused on one bill (HB 1239), which requires a cost-analysis of the educational standards adopted in 45 states, and another (HB1508) that would forbid the Department of Education from implementing them.

…..

read the rest at Common Core debate fires up crowd – Union Leader.

Tea party legislators on a “search and destroy mission” aimed at the NH Department of Education? You decide.

In 2012, the O’Brien legislature considered shutting down the New Hampshire Department of Education.  Now in the minority, opponents of public education have taken a different approach.  On January 28, 2014, Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) presented her bill, HB 1397, to authorize a stacked study committee  to go after DOE.

The thesis is that that DOE has gone rogue, establishing an unauthorized new division to implement the Common Core in a stealth mode.

There can be no doubt about the intention of the bill.  The study committee would be made up of 2 House Republicans, 2 House Democrats and one Republican appointed by the president of the Senate, a guaranteed Republican majority.  The next section, about Duties, sends the committee deep into conspiracy land to ferret out law-breaking within DOE.

The hearing brought Common Core opponents out in force, as you see on this highlight reel:

That’s not a recognizable portrait to most who deal with NHDOE.  Long time disability rights advocate Bonnie Dunham testified about how responsive DOE has been to her concerns and characterizes the bill as a “search and destroy mission.”

And here is Heather Gage, Director of the Division of Educational Improvement and Chief of Staff, New Hampshire Department of Education, responding to each issue raised by supporters.

There is little prospect that this bill will get serious support, but it will serve as an early indicator of where legislators stand on the Common Core.

New Hampshire’s only tax credit scholarship organization gets hit hard at the senate hearing Friday.

The Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee held a great hearing yesterday on HB 370 to repeal the education tax credit passed last session.  Although Senator Sanborn (R, Bedford) came late and Senator Reagan (R, Deerfield) left early and both slumped snarley in their chairs while supporters of HB 370 were speaking, Senator Stiles (R, Hampton) ran a respectful hearing in which everyone got as much time as needed and Senators Gilmour (D, Nashua) and Kelley (D, Keene) were tuned in, appreciative of and attentive to every presenter.

Forty two supporters of voucher repeal registered for the hearing vs. only 29 opponents.  Most supporters of the tax credit were the direct beneficiaries – religious schools, potential scholarship recipients, staff of the scholarship organization – or “school choice” advocates.  (Two people listed by the scholarship organization as staff testified without identifying themselves as staff.)

As to supporters of repeal, the National Education Association of New Hampshire (one of the two teachers’ unions) and the New Hampshire School Boards Association testified and the American Federation of Teachers (the other teachers’ union) registered in support of the bill, but most of those testifying in favor of voucher repeal had no direct personal connection to the tax credit program or to public schools.  They just seemed to think that public schools needed defending.

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Bill Duncan’s Senate testimony on voucher repeal

Thank you, Senators, for the opportunity to speak with you today.  My name is Bill Duncan, from New Castle.

I’ve got 3 points to make briefly.

The education tax credit program is about privatization, not poor kids

First, the education tax credit program is all about privatization of our local public schools, not about poor kids.  Seen as an effort to help poor kids, it would not be good public policy.

It’s already in trouble

Second, because of the lack of oversight and business support, the program has fallen on its face right out of the starting gate.  There’s no need to wait to see that it has failed.

Unaccredited Creationist schools will have access

And finally, the lack of school accountability means that unaccredited Creationist schools would have full access to tuition subsidies funded by public money, New Hampshire tax credits.  This is not a desirable public policy outcome.

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Testimony of Rep. Lorrie Carey (D, Boscawen) on HB 370, voucher repeal

The argument for the school scholarship or “choice” program is that we need to create “choice” for students. As a mother of four children, my children have gone to public, private and been home schooled. I have never lacked choice. We are not wealthy, but education is a family priority and our primary investment. While others save for retirement, we invest in our children’s education. That is our choice.

Some may argue that we need to create “competition” for our public schools so that they will improve. This is another argument for the “School Choice” scholarship program. Competition assumes a free market – which is defined as “an economic market in which supply and demand are not regulated or are regulated with only minor restrictions.” Public schools do not operate in a free market. They are highly regulated and must take all students regardless of the student’s abilities or interests. It will never be fair for us to advocate for competition between public and private schools. This is not an even playing field and never will be.

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Rep. Chris Muns (D, Hampton) senate testimony on HB 370, voucher repeal

Thank you Madame Chairman and Senators for this opportunity to speak with you today.  For the record, my name is Chris Muns.  I am a state representative from Rockingham District 21, which includes the Town of Hampton and – more importantly- I am the father of a special needs child.

I am proud to have voted for HB370 and to repeal the Education Tax Credit Program, when the House approved this bill on February 20.  I urge you report this bill as Ought To Pass to the entire Senate.

Two of you currently serving on this committee voted against the Education Tax Credit Program when it was approved last year, not once but twice when you chose not to override the Governor’s veto.  Clearly, you did not believe that it was good public policy last year.

I agree with you and nothing has changed to make it good policy now.  Hopefully, you and the other members of this committee will join in correcting a wrong before any children are directly affected by it.

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Andrea Williams’ statement to the senate on HB 370, voucher repeal

Andrea Williams captured in her senate testimony the essence of the proposition education tax credit supporters are offering the State of New Hampshire:

My name is Andrea Williams and I live in Hampton. I am testifying in support of HB370. Here is my rationale:

The two organizations that have been lobbying for these tax credits — The Network for Educational Opportunity and The Alliance for the Separation of School and State declare on their website:

”I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education.”

Many of the schools attending NEO’s information sessions are religious schools, and the organization appears to put particular emphasis on starting Christian schools. How would they respond to requests for scholarships to Judaic or Islamic schools, or perhaps someday Scientology? It’s bad enough that potential state revenue could be used to support religious schools of any denomination. But here is the essential hypocrisy: this tax credit — which prevents revenue from being used to benefit the public under the oversight of our elected representatives, and which the state so desperately needs – derives from a government created source. In other words, the opponents of the bill do not really want government OUT of their schools. They want potential GOVERNMENT revenue to be diverted to the particular schools of THEIR choice.

I would recast their proclamation as follows: “I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education. Instead, Government, just find a way to send us the money, and then go away.”

Rep. Mary Stuart Gile’s Senate testimony on her voucher repeal bill, HB 370

“Good afternoon. For the record, I am Mary Stuart Gile and I represent Merrimack District 27, which includes Concord Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7. I am the prime sponsor of HB 370-FN, an act repealing the education tax credit program. There are multiple reasons for doing so. Mine are as follows:

1. Constitutionality, The NH Constitution (Part I-Art 6 and Part II-Article 83) specifically prohibits public funds from going to religious schools. The Education Tax Credit program as enacted is dependent on revenue intended for the general fund as Business Profit Tax (BPT) or Business Enterprise Tax, (BET) and diverting it through an intermediary, non-profit, scholarship organization, to be used as tuition to private schools, out-of-district public schools and possibly religious schools. Currently, the constitutionality of the education tax credit/voucher is before the Superior Court with a decision anticipated in mid-April.

2. Fiscal impact – 3.4 million this year; 5.1 in 2014 and up to 135 million in a decade, given our current fiscal constraints, can NH communities afford this? And the $2500/student scholarship may sound tempting to parents but it falls far short of tuition for secular schools, which range from $5000/student to $25,000/student in NH.

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