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HB 1492 to modify the manifest educational hardship statute has been killed for this session

The House Education Committee today sent the bill to interim study.

Great story! Educators used the manifest educational hardship statute to help a kid overcome his challenges and graduate successfully from high school

New Hampshire educator Laura Spratt wrote to the State Board of Education this week about the manifest educational hardship (MEH) statute because the public hearing on the new MEH rules is tomorrow, December 14, from 1:00 to 1:30 and she wanted to get these thoughts into the public record for the board’s consideration.

Our department of education has been proposing changes, many of which are reflected in legislation proposed for the 2018 session, that would turn the MEH statute into a backdoor to universal school choice paid for by local New Hampshire taxpayers.

But here’s Ms. Spratt’s great letter about how her school district applied the MEH statute the way it was meant to be used. (more…)

Local school boards will be concerned about the big changes in the new Manifest Educational Hardship bill

House Education chair Rick Ladd’s proposal for change to the manifest educational hardship statute are now posted as HB 1492. It contains many concepts familiar from the proposals made repeatedly over the past eight months by the New Hampshire Department of Education. The bill needs much more analysis by school board members budget committee members and attorneys, but here are some initial observations. (more…)

Update: the hearing on manifest educational hardship rules will be held on December 14

There will be no hearing this Thursday on the Initial Proposal of the manifest educational hardship rules.  The hearing is currently scheduled for December 14.

What is “manifest educational hardship” and why do you care?

The Manifest Educational Hardship (MEH) statute governs the process for reassigning a student to another school if the parents demonstrate that continuing in the current school would have a detrimental effect on the student and another school would be better. Up to now, MEH has provided a path for school boards to respond to real problems a student might have.  However, local school boards and the state board of education have seen an increasing interest in using the MEH as a path for a family that might just prefer to send their child to a different school, whether or not there is a clear hardship at the current school. (more…)

Will the manifest educational hardship bill become a backdoor to universal school choice funded by the local property tax?

The New Hampshire Department of Education has made two proposals to the State Board of Education seeking to change the rule implementing the Manifest Educational Hardship (MEH) statute.  The department proposed these rules in March and different rules (here on p. 7) at the October 12 SBOE meeting.  The board did not agree to these proposals and they are unlikely to be implemented because they do not reflect the current statute.  However, Rep. Rick Ladd (R, Haverhill), chair of the House Education Committee, is drafting a bill (LSR 2530) that will propose changes to the MEH statute, probably along the same lines.

Here are the department’s proposed changes that could reappear in that bill. (more…)