South Dakota Legislature passes transgender ‘bathroom bill’

Feb 24, 2016

South Dakota Legislature passed HB 1008 last week, which requires transgendered students to use bathrooms, locker rooms and showers corresponding to their genital and chromosomal sex at birth. The bill specifies that schools may make other accommodations for transgender students, such as granting them access to single-occupancy or staff bathrooms. 

The bill now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, where it is uncertain if it will pass or be vetoed.

Should civics be a required subject for statewide assessment?

Dec 22, 2015

Rep. Rick Ladd of Haverhill is the prime sponsor of 2016 legislation that would change state law to exclude civics and other social studies from the statewide assessment. HB 1121 specifies that "the statewide academic areas to be assessed shall include reading and language arts, mathematics, and science," but not history, geography, civics, or economics. 

Should NH fine parents $50 if their child bullies another student?

Dec 21, 2015

An Oklahoma lawmaker is proposing a $50 fine for parents whose children are caught bullying, or potentially breaking other rules.

Supporters argue the proposal will get parents more involved with their children's discipline. A fine also offers teachers an alternative to suspension or expulsion, which interrupts a student's education.

NH students get privacy rights

Jul 28, 2015

Starting this September, state law will prohibit schools from requesting access to students’ social media accounts.

HB 142, the bill behind the change, automatically became law after Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) chose to neither sign nor veto the bill.

Child support during GED?

Jul 18, 2015

In July Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed HB 449, a bill which clarifies that child support ends after age 18 if the child drops out of high school to enroll in a GED program or similar high school equivalency program.

Right now New Hampshire law allows child support to continue after age 18 if the child is still pursuing a high school education.  The law does not specifically address GED programs.

SAT can replace state assessment

Jul 17, 2015

On Wednesday, July 15 Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed HB 323, a bill that allows high schools to replace a mandated statewide assessment with the SAT or ACT.

Prior to this bill, state and federal law required high school juniors to take the Smarter Balanced assessment based on Common Core curriculum.  Federal regulators still need to approve the change in HB 323, which is set to take effect in September.

Hassan vetoes sex ed bill

Jun 29, 2015

On Friday, June 26 Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed HB 332, a bill that would require schools to notify parents at least two weeks before "course material involving discussion of human sexuality or human sexual education."

Gov. Hassan vetoed the bill in part because of the broad language.

"This bill would make it more difficult for young people to receive critical public health education and it could affect a wide range of curricula – including science and the study of important literature, ranging from Mark Twain to Shakespeare," Hassan wrote in her veto message.

NH budget changes school funding

Jun 16, 2015

House and Senate budget negotiators are still hammering out the details, but the two chambers agree that New Hampshire needs to change its school funding formula.

State education funding for each town is calculated according to many factors, including enrollment numbers, the number of students receiving free lunches, and the number of English language learners. 

In 2011 the state passed a law that limits any increase in state funding, so a town can receive no more than 108% of the previous year's funding from the state.

Hassan vetoes common core opt-out

Jun 15, 2015

Last week Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed HB 603, a bill that would allow students to opt-out of statewide assessments.

The bill was motivated by opposition to the Common Core curriculum.  This year New Hampshire rolled out the Smarter Balanced assessment tests based on Common Core.

Some school boards sent a letter to parents in 2015 asserting parents' right to remove their children from the tests.  However, state and federal law requires test participation, which is linked to federal funding.

Manchester, Nashua miss testing minimum

Jun 05, 2015

This year the Manchester and Nashua school districts missed the federal minimum participation rate for standardized tests.

 

Federal law requires schools to administer standardized tests to receive funding.  A school district faces sanctions if fewer than 95% of students take a test.

 

This year New Hampshire premiered the Smarter Balanced standardized tests based on Common Core curriculum.  Due to opposition to Common Core, some parents pulled their children out of the tests.  Both Manchester and Nashua missed the 95% threshold for test participation.

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