NH Charter School News and Legislative Updates

Dear charter school parents and supporters,

 

Last week the charter school funding bill HB563 received strong support from the House of Representatives and now moves to the State Senate. Learn More 

 

On March 10th, voters from the Monadnock Regional School District turned out in support of the Gilsum STEAM Academy, a public K-6 focusing on the arts & sciences. Learn More

 

There are many wonderful things happening in our public schools, too many to include in one newsletter but we have included some highlights below.


Matt Southerton

Director, NH Center for Innovative Schools

matt@nhcharterschools.org 
 

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FUNDING BILL HEADED TO STATE SENATE

 

Charter school supporters celebrated last week after the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 222-116 to support increased funding for public charter schools.

 

Emotion overcame decorum as parents and students cheered as the vote was announced. Twenty eight democrats joined all but five republicans to support HB563. The bill now moves to the State Senate where supporters hope to see it quickly move through committee and to a floor vote.

 

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 

 

Background
NH public 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. NH charter schools receive $3,500 in state adequacy plus a $2,000 stipend to represent disparity aid because NH public charters do not currently benefit directly from local tax dollars.

VOTERS SAY YES TO GILSUM STEAM ACADEMY

  

On Tuesday March 10th, voters of the Monadnock Regional School District voted to keep the Gilsum STEAM Academy open for the next five years. As a STEAM school, GSA's mission hopes to bring alive student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. At a time when the Governor's Taskforce on STEM Education has recommended increasing options in STEM education, it would have been a shame to close this public school.

 

On Tuesday afternoon I attended a meeting of stakeholders representing the school board, administrators and parents as they worked on their application to become the state's first charter conversion school. We can't wait to see this talented group move forward!

STUDENTS COMPETE AT NH STATE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE

 

gilsumOver eighty students from the Academy for Science and Design Charter School will be competing in the NH State Technology Student Association conference in Lincoln today and tomorrow. GL ASD!

 

 

About ASD

ASD is a public charter school specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). To learn more about ASD please visit them at www.asdnh.org

SHOWCASING STUDENT TALENT FROM GSAA

 

Granite State Arts Academy (GSAA) has produced a new video featuring artwork and commentary from their students and staff. The talent exhibited by these students in just the first year is impressive. This video speaks to the need for increased options in public education and the results that we can achieve when we allow children the freedom to find a program that is right for them.

 

To learn more please visit them at www.granitestateartsacademy.com
 

ALABAMA PASSES PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL LAW

 

Our friends at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools have been busy fighting to increase public options coast to coast. Their most recent achievement? Helping the state of Alabama to become the 43rd state in the nation to pass a public charter school law!

 

 

 

To learn more about NAPCS please visit them at: www.publiccharters.org

PARENT FEEDBACK - WHY CHOOSE A CHARTER?

 

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! 

 

Matt