Hassan vetoes anti-Common Core bill

May 12, 2015

On Friday Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed SB 101, a bill that explicitly gives school districts the power to reject the Common Core education standards.

Gov. Hassan noted that school districts already have the power to implement their own education standards.  Manchester wrote their own standards after rejecting Common Core last year.

Anti-Common Core bill heads to Hassan

Apr 16, 2015

On Wednesday the New Hampshire House passed a bill that forbids the state from requiring school districts to adopt the Common Core educational standards.

The bill - SB 101 - now heads to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) for a signature or veto.

Bill supporters argue that local school districts should have control over curriculum and education standards.  They perceive Common Core as an attempt to nationalize education.

Social media privacy vs. bullying

Mar 26, 2015

This week a Senate committee heard testimony on a bill that would prohibit schools from demanding access to students' social media accounts.

Privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, testified in support of the bill.

"We would never expect a school administrator to be allowed to enter a student's bedroom and look at their personal letters or look through their photo albums," said Devon Chaffee, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire. "We shouldn't allow them to do the electronic equivalent."

Smarter Balanced opt-out for parents?

Mar 25, 2015

This month school districts throughout New Hampshire premiered the Smart Balanced tests based on Common Core curriculum.  Some schools told parents that their students have a right to opt-out of the tests, but the state Department of Education disagrees.

House budget writers make cuts to education aid

Mar 24, 2015

In an effort to trim $46 million from the proposed 2016-2017 state budget, the New Hampshire House Finance Committee voted Monday to remove the cap on education aid and to decrease funding for stabilization grants by 40 percent.

The committee is aiming to reduce Gov. Hassan's proposed budget by $240 million in order to balance the budget with the expected incoming revenue projected by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Reductions have been made to the Department of Transportation's budget and to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Raptor bill sparks controversy

Mar 20, 2015

This year fourth grade students from Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls drafted a bill to declare the red-tailed hawk the state raptor.  The bill sparked strong opinions about the role of children in the legislative process.

Supporters - including Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) - argued that passing the bill would encourage young people to take ownership of their government, learn about civics, and become active voters when they turn eighteen. 

NH pilots Smarter Balanced test alternative

Mar 06, 2015

The federal government has approved a pilot program for New Hampshire schools to replaced Smarter Balanced standardized tests with assessments written by local teachers.

Federal law requires school districts to administer standardized tests at regular intervals.  The results of those tests are used to evaluate school performance and target federal funding. 

Rubio talks education, immigration on NH tour

Feb 25, 2015

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, toured New Hampshire this week while promoting his book, American Dreams, and weighing his opportunities for a 2016 presidential bid.

Speaking at St. Anselm college yesterday, Rubio called for a change in the country's education system, urging a focus on helping citizens learn skills that lead to high-paying jobs rather than encouraging everyone to earn four-year college degrees.

Committee nixes Common Core bills

Feb 06, 2015

This week the Senate Education Committee recommended killing several bills against Common Core in New Hampshire.

Two of the bills, SB 81 and SB 82, aimed to limit the authority of the state Board of Education over curriculum and assessments.  A third bill, SB 101, explicitly prohibited the implementation of the Common Core education standards.

Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua), the sponsor of SB 81 and SB 82, argues the Board of Education is over-reaching its authority by influencing curriculum at the local level.

New formula for NH school funding?

Feb 04, 2015

The New Hampshire legislature is considering a change to the state education 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.

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