NH Charter School Association - Charter school funding bill falls prey to politics

In this issue

HB 435 Falls Prey to Politics

Dear charter school supporters,


I am sorry to report that HB435 (the charter school funding bill) was defeated on Wednesday in a vote of 167 to 151. HB435 as amended would have increased funding for public charter school students from about 40% of the State Average Cost Per Pupil to 47.5% or about $825 per student.

The vote was disturbingly partisan.
161 Democrats & 6 Republicans
voted to send the bill to "Interim Study" (kill it).

139 Republicans and 12 Democrats tried to save and amend it but they fell 16 votes short.


What is Interim Study?

Put plainly Interim Study is a way to kill a popular bill without having to go on the record as voting "against" it. The tactic provides political cover for lawmakers by giving them a way to deflect criticism by saying that they want to "study the bill". In the end it achieves the same result and the bill quietly dies.


Who was hurt by this vote?

  • The roughly 3,000 children in the state that attend a different kind of public school
  • Students at the seven charter high schools for at-risk youth. These students have a combined average of 30% Free and Reduced Lunch Eligibility, that's higher than the state average
  • The students of the state's most rural charter elementary school with a Free and Reduced Lunch population of over 34%, higher than the state average
  • Students at the only two public choice options North of Concord
  • Source: www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/lunch_school13_14.xls  
How can you tell if your representative really supports public charters?  

The bill's chief sponsor Representative Ken Weyler said look at the record. "I never saw such a partisan vote. The 167 voting for the Interim study were 161 Democrats and 6 Republicans. Those voting against were 136 Republicans and 12 Democrats. They are so tied to the teachers union, which hates charters, that you will never get a fair vote while they are in the majority. They may tell you that they support charter schools. But here is the evidence that they do not."


A look at funding