HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES THE MOST HARMFUL CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION SEEN IN OVER A DECADE
Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to support the most extreme, anti-charter school legislation that the state has seen in well over a decade.
The provisions tucked inside HB2 circumvent the normal democratic process and throw New Hampshire's children under the bus of some very well paid lobbyists in Concord.
A number of amendments were put forward in an effort to try and protect public charter schools however each was defeated, virtually along party lines.
What is HB2?
HB2 is the companion bill to the state budget bill HB1.
Why do charter school opponents use HB2?
Because it allows them to bypass the regular democratic process and skip public policy hearings in House Education.
Because the House is only required to vote for the changes once as part of a much larger bill, i.e. it's easier to hide them.
Because it makes it harder for the public to identify who proposed the changes.
Because their lobbyists don't need to testify against public charter schools in open policy hearings that the public can witness.
What provisions are included in HB2?
The provisions in HB2 are particularly obscene as a number of them would clearly discriminate against public charter schools students. These provisions are the legislative equivalent, of injecting the charter school law with some horrific disease.
HB2 would cut charter school funding by $2.5 million. It would not cut aid to district schools, it would increase it.
HB2 would place a two year moratorium on new charter schools. This would likely result in the loss of $5.6 million in remaining grant funds.
HB2 would release the Department of Education from its duty to apply for all federal funding for public charter schools. It would not do so for district schools.
HB2 would remove a protection that allows the legislature flexibility for charter expenditures. It would not do so for district schools. (RSA 198:42 II)
HB2 would require that charter schools perform program audits every 3 years, it is currently every 5 years.
HB2 would require the Board of Education to approve changes in enrollment.
HB2 would create a "study committee" consisting of legislators. The committee would likely be political in nature and lacks a neutral, third party evaluator experienced in the evaluation of public charter schools.
The New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools is a NH registered non-profit whose members are committed to helping inspire the creation of innovative public schools in New Hampshire. We offer assistance to all New Hampshire charter schools and groups wanting to learn more about these innovative programs. Our services are free, we do not charge or accept payment for our assistance.