NH Charter School News and Updates

In this issue

Dear charter school parents and supporters,


This is an important week for the future of charter schools in New Hampshire. Tomorrow morning March 10th, voters from the Monadnock Regional School District will decide the fate of the Gilsum STEAM Academy (GSA). Teachers & parents are fighting to keep their public school open by converting it to a public charter school. Learn more


On Wednesday March 11th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on the charter school funding bill, HB563. HB563 as amended would increase charter school funding at a time when the schools desperately need it. Learn more


There are so many amazing things happening in our public schools that we couldn't possibly include them all in one newsletter but we have included some highlights below. If you have any questions about NH public charters or want to learn more, we would encourage you to contact us or a charter school in your area.

Matt Southerton

Director, NH Center for Innovative Schools


Office: 603-224-0366

Cell: 603-303-8070  

For up to the minute news on everything charter, please visit us on Facebook and Twitter



Charter school supporters celebrated a small but important victory this week as the charter school funding bill (HB563 as amended) was voted out of committee with a recommendation of "ought to pass". HB563 will go up for a vote before the full House of Representatives on March 11th. If passed and signed into law, HB563 as amended would increase charter school funding by $36 per pupil next year and $1,036 after that. hb563 


New Hampshire charter schools are currently the lowest funded charter schools in the nation receiving about $5,500 per pupil or about 38% of the state average cost per pupil. When SB539 overhauled the education funding formula in 2009-10, charter schools were included. The legislative intent of SB539 was to provide NH public charter schools with permanent sustainable funding. NH charter schools were woven into the fabric of public education funding receiving $3,450 in adequacy plus a $2,000 stipend to represent disparity aid because NH public charters do not currently benefit directly from local tax dollars. Since that time, charter school funding has remained flat.


Tomorrow morning March 10th, voters of the Monadnock Regional School District will decide the fate of the Gilsum STEAM Academy (GSA). Teachers & administrators are urging voters to keep their public school open by voting, NO on article 9 .... YES on article 10. The group hopes to then convert GSA into a public charter school which would save taxpayer money.gilsum 


As a STEAM school, GSA's mission focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. 


For voter information please visit: http://www.mrsd.org/news.cfm?story=99314&school=0


To learn more about the movement to save GSA please visit: PTA Facebook page



This week a team from the Academy for Science and Design Charter School (ASD) won the 2015 Northern New England Science Bowl Regional Championship. The team will be competing at the National Science Bowl in Washington DC in April.


Our hats are off to the teachers and students of this public charter that continues to excel to new heights!



About ASD

ASD is a public charter school specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). Its mission is to graduate well-rounded students with the capacity for high achievement and leadership in their colleges, careers, and society. To learn more about ASD please visit: http://www.asdnh.org/ 


The NH Public Charter School Association recently held its annual "chili cook-off" in Concord. Schools from around the state battled it out for the crown but in the end it was a tie! The Birches Academy Charter School from Salem and the North Country Academy Charter School from Littleton shared the title. The event gave New Hampshire state legislators an opportunity to learn more about these public schools and cast their vote for the best chili. More photos from the event are available at: www.facebook.com/NHCharterSchools 


(Senator Jeanie Forrester & Senator John Reagan visit with students from GBECS)





The first charter school opened in New Hampshire about nine years ago. It hasn't been an easy journey for anyone but nothing worth fighting for ever is. The reflections below are from parents who have been kind enough to share their thoughts. While this is certainly not a scientific study, it does help one to understand why some parents have chosen a charter school and the benefits that it has made in their child's life.


We share this feedback with you not to diminish our traditional public schools but to celebrate the power of increased education options for all families.


Jennifer wrote: "The charter school has ignited our son's desire to learn. Alternatively our daughter loves her district school. More choice!"


Amanda wrote: "We chose the Charter School because of our daughters love of the Arts & this suited her perfectly. We could not be more happy"


Ruth wrote: "I have never seen him so excited about going to school...The school is always looking to achieve higher standards."


Kathy wrote: "As a parent of a special needs student attending a charter school I have been amazed... My son is in his second year at a charter school and is finally excelling. He is treated with respect and value."


If you would like to share some aspect of your journey in a public charter school we would like to hear from you. Please use our Parent Feedback form and specify whether or not we may share your thoughts.


Thank you!