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Entries in Legislation (148)

Tuesday
Mar102015

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

matt@nhcharterschools.org 

Office: 603-224-0366

Cell: 603-303-8070  

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

FUNDING BILL HEADED TO FLOOR VOTE

 

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 

 

 
Background
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.
PARENTS & TEACHERS FIGHT TO SAVE  PUBLIC SCHOOL

  

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

ASD WINS REGIONAL SCIENCE BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

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/ 

NHPCSA CHILI COOK-OFF

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)

  

 

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

Friday
Mar062015

NH Charter Schools - Charter Funding Bill Headed to Floor Vote 

Parents and charter school supporters are celebrating a small but important victory tonight as the charter school funding bill (HB563 as amended) was voted out of committee with a recommendation of "ought to pass". In a vote of 14-10, all republicans present voted in support of the modest increase in funding while all democrats present voted against it.
Last year a similar bill gained bipartisan support until it was eventually killed along party lines. 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.
 
BACKGROUND
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.
 
    

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AT A GLANCE

Bills that encouraged or discouraged public charters between 2002 & 2014

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/299628/Bills-that-have-Blocked-or-Encouraged-New-Public-Schools

 

Contrasting support and opposition between 2010 & 2014.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/295089/Charter-School-Bills-2010-2014/ 

 

Thursday
Mar052015

NH House Republican Majority Caucus (HRMC) comments on tanning bill 

The House Republican Majority Caucus issued the following statement on the passage of HB 136, a bill that would take away from parents the right to give permission to their teenagers to get an indoor tan.


"Today, 199 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to tell parents that their elected representatives are more intelligent than they are and more caring of their children," stated Rep Pam Tucker, Greenland. "They told parents of young ladies and gentlemen, going to their senior prom, "No, you cannot make that trip to the tanning booth before one of the biggest nights of your life."

"This new law would be an invitation to more nanny government.  What's next, mandated use of sunscreen?  Subsides for sunscreen?  We can only hope that the senate knows more about the New Hampshire traditions of individualism and supporting the family than the 199 representatives who seem to know about Washington overreach," noted Rep. Jeanine Notter- Merrimack.

Thursday
Feb192015

NH House Republicans Comment on Bill Modifying RGGI Program to Benefit Ratepayers

CONCORD - House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) and Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping), member of the House Science, Technology & Energy committee, today offered the following statements on the passage of HB 208, as amended, that would modify New Hampshire’s enrollment in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, such that 100% of revenue would be rebated back to ratepayers. The bill passed by a roll call vote of 201-154.

 

House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

 

“Many of us pledged during the last campaign to find ways to reduce the overall cost of energy in New Hampshire and we believe HB208 would keep that promise by providing a net benefit to ratepayers. High electricity rates are an impediment to economic growth. Reducing costly mandates, or in this case modifying those mandates to be more cost neutral, is one way we can make New Hampshire more affordable and competitive.”

 

Rep. Michael Vose (R-Epping), House Science, Technology & Energy committee


“Most people don’t know that RGGI imposes extra costs on power generators who in turn pass that cost along to ratepayers. It’s a hidden tax. HB 208 returns the revenue from that hidden tax back to the people from whom it was taken and provides some measure of relief for families and businesses.”

Wednesday
Feb112015

Cornerstone supports today's life-issue bills in House 

Cornerstone Action

Cornerstone Supports Five Pro-Life Bills at Tuesday Hearings


Representatives of Cornerstone Action were in Concord today to support five much-needed measures relating to the life issues. We encourage the House to pass each of these bills.

  • Repeal of the "buffer zone" law (HB 403). This blatantly unconstitutional law is already tied up in federal court. The law makes all demonstration, including silent prayer, illegal within "up to 25 feet" of an abortion facility, with the precise zone up to the discretion of each abortion provider.The same Governor who signed the bill is now unwilling to order her Attorney General to enforce it. She went ahead and signed the bill days after a similar Massachusetts law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. By passing repeal, the legislature can give the Governor a chance to back away gracefully from her inexplicably poor judgment.  There is no reason to pit the First Amendment against the safety of women, as though they're incompatible. 
  • The fetal homicide bill known as "Griffin's Law" (HB 560). It's a matter of justice that abusive partners and impaired drivers who cause a woman to lose a wanted pregnancy should face charges for the death of the preborn child. Furthermore, a woman's choice to carry a pregnancy to term should get at least as much respect under law as a woman's choice to terminate a pregnancy. New Hampshire, with its lack of fetal homicide legislation, is far behind the rest of the country. We commend Rep. Leon Rideout, who is sponsoring this bill in memory of his grandson Griffin.
  • Preventing post-viability abortions (HB 595). Cornerstone supports this effort to prevent most late-term abortions in New Hampshire. We note that under the terms of the bill, a provider doing a late-term abortion for emergency reasons would be encouraged to use a method that would provide the best opportunity for the preborn child to survive, consistent with the safety of the mother. 
  • Abortion statistics (HB 629). Here is another overdue piece of legislation that will bring New Hampshire into line with most other states that already report abortion statistics to the Centers for Disease Control as a matter of public health. An aggregate summary of abortion data, with absolute protection of patient confidentiality, will be valuable not only in public health work but also in public policy discussions.
  • Prohibiting the direct and indirect use of public funds for abortion (HB 677). Contracts for family planning services should not be a back-door way of providing public funding for the benefit of abortion providers. Cornerstone calls on legislators to respect the rights of taxpayers who have moral or religious objections to participating in the abortion industry. 

Cornerstone Action is the legislative advocacy arm of Cornerstone Policy Research, a nonprofit non-partisan New Hampshire public policy organization working to promote strong New Hampshire families.