Press Releases

 

Entries in Legislation (142)

Saturday
Mar222014

NH Sen. Boutin Defends NH Equestrians 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Manchester, NH – State Senator David Boutin defended New Hampshire’s equestrian community at a Manchester Water Works public hearing on new rules to restrict horseback riding throughout the Lake Massabesic watershed. Boutin (R-Manchester) joined nearly 300 concerned citizens to testify against the proposed rules, citing a lack of any scientific evidence that restrictions on equestrians would do anything to improve or protect the region’s water quality.

“New Hampshire’s equestrians are among the best stewards of our public lands, and have been using and protecting Lake Massabesic for centuries,” Boutin said. “The Manchester Water Works Committee may have the best of intentions to protect water quality, but these proposed rules are not supported by any scientific evidence, and would do nothing but restrict the ability of horseback riders to enjoy one of our state’s greatest multi-use resources.”

Horse owners and riders packed the Manchester Public Library for last night’s public hearing on the proposed rules. Boutin has already convinced the State Department of Environmental Services to withdraw similar restrictions on horseback riding. Boutin was also instrumental in blocking last year’s proposal to ban horseback riding in state parks. His efforts drew praise from the crowd and from the state’s equestrian community.

“He was amazing. The amount of work that Sen. Boutin put into getting the details to the Water Works Committee was amazing,” said Doug Whitfield of Manchester. “He did a great job for his constituents, and for anyone who uses the lake.”

Attachment- Caption- Senator David Boutin (R-Manchester) testifies before Manchester Water Works Committee on effect of proposed restrictions on NH equestrians.

Friday
Mar212014

NH House Republican Alliance: Statement on HB1570 Paint Tax

The House Republican Alliance comments on  HB1570 - A, a bill to establish a new fee on household paint.


"This bill adds a new fee to every can of paint purchased in New Hampshire, making our consumer goods more expensive. Anyone who wants to paint a room in their house, fence, or their doghouse will now pay more. Any new building and home construction will be more expensive, making our affordable housing, less affordable," stated Rep. Russ Ober- Hudson.  "Further, the amendment to HB1570 never received a public hearing before Ways and Means to discuss these new fees.  All tax and fee bills are to go to Ways and Means per house rules."

Friday
Mar212014

NH House Republicans Comment on Passage of Paint Tax Bill 

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and member of the House Environment & Agriculture Committee, John O’Connor (R-Derry), offered the following comments relative to House action today on HB1570, a bill that would impose a tax on paint sellers that would fund a new government program for paint disposal. The bill passed by a vote of 161-142.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This bill proposes a new tax, is anti-free-market, and anti-small business. This bill would impose a new tax on paint, borne by the retailers. Some proponents may say that sellers could absorb the tax - currently 75 cents per gallon in the three states where the program is in effect. Maybe large box stores, with deep pockets can, but those small town mom-and-pop hardware stores cannot. This new tax will no doubt get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. If this tax bill becomes law, New Hampshire consumers can look forward to higher home improvement costs.”

Rep. John O’Connor (R-Derry) House Environment & Agriculture Committee member

“Any paint manufacturer not willing to sign on with this program will not be allowed to sell their products in NH. This will essentially eliminate the ability for new, small paint companies to enter the New Hampshire market and reduce competition and stifles innovation.”


“The bill as proposed is far from ready for prime time and has too many weaknesses to name. There are major legal questions that have yet to be vetted by the Attorney General’s office, including antitrust concerns. This tax bill picks favorites and hits small retailers and consumers without effectively addressing the full scope of the problem it’s trying to resolve.”

Wednesday
Mar192014

NH Charter School Association - Attempt to undermine vote on charter school funding 

CONCORD, NH - 3/18/14

A document claiming to be from the Department of Education and circulated to legislators this week appears to be an attempt to undermine a vote on public charter school funding tomorrow.

Click here to read more about how the document in question, distorts costs associated with HB435. 

Efforts are being made to contact the Department and request that the Department confirm or deny the authenticity of the document and provide NH State Legislators with accurate corrections. 

For official cost analysis of HB 435 as amended click on the links below.


About Us
The NH Center for Innovative Schools is a NH registered non-profit whose members are committed to quality public options for all children. 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.
Monday
Mar102014

NH Charter School Legislative Update 

In this issue

Examining the Need for HB 435


In 2009-10 the state legislature overhauled the education funding formula (SB539) for New Hampshire public schools, including public charter schools. The legislative intent of SB539 was to provide public charters with permanent sustainable funding. Public charters were woven into the fabric of public education funding receiving $3,450 per pupil in state adequacy aid plus $2,000 per pupil in disparity aid because charters do not receive local tax dollars.

 

Since that time charter school funding has remained flat however their costs have not. HB435 as amended would restore the legislative intent of SB539 by bringing public charter funding back to the percentage of the state average as originally intended.

 

How is HB435 Funded? 

There is currently a surplus sufficient to pay for HB435 in the current charter school line item of the state budget. No new money is needed. Future monies will come from the decline in adequacy needed due to the decline in total public student enrollment. State adequacy will not increase from existing levels according to figures prepared for Representative Weyler by the LBO. Adequacy costs will actually decrease in the future with surpluses projected at $6m and $11.8m in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Public Education Funding & Context


When discussing funding context is important. As you can see by the chart above, public charter school students represent only about 2% of total state adequacy aid. The vast majority of funding (about 98% or $936 million) goes directly to our traditional public schools. District schools do the incredibly difficult work of addressing the needs of the vast majority of students. Children are not widgets however and even in the best schools there will be some students whose needs are not met. Public charter schools complement our district system by providing a public education option for students who require a unique learning environment, curriculum, or instructional method.

Dispelling Common Myths & Misconceptions

The New Hampshire Public Charter School Association has put together a helpful document that addresses many of the common myths and misconceptions about public charter schools in New Hampshire. You can read the document by clicking here.

Charter school bills moving through the House
HB1128 would create a committee to study issues related to special education in public charter schools. In testimony before the House Education Committee, some supporters of the bill asserted that public charter schools or the state should be responsible for special education costs and not the resident district. These same supporters consistently oppose any suggestion that public charter schools should receive local tax dollars or that the money should follow the child. This position would seem irrational and more likely designed to either bankrupt public charter schools or disenfranchise students with special needs.

     

HB1392 would remove the restriction (10% rule) on the number of students that can transfer to a public charter school from each grade in a single year. In practice the 10% rule only serves to discourage small population centers from opening charters in the North and has little or no impact on the more densely populated areas in the South.

 

HB1393 would address a situation that occurs when a resident district does not operate
a full time elementary or secondary school. In these cases the district tuitions out resident pupils to a nearby district. HB1393 would require that "should" a resident pupil elect to attend a charter school operating within the district, that the district pay to the charter school the tuition which would have been paid to another district for the pupil, minus the amount of funds received by the charter school from the state ($5,498). 

Example
"District-A" does not operate an elementary school of its own. District-A signs an agreement with "District-B" to provide services for District-A's students at a rate of $12,000 per pupil. HB1393 would require that if a student elects to attend a public charter school operating in the district instead, that District-A pay the difference of ($12,000 - $5,498) or $6,502 to the charter school. This would result in a savings to the local tax payer of $5,498 for every student that attends the charter school instead of District-B.

Some groups like the NH-NEA and the NH School Boards Association oppose this common sense measure. The NHSBA writes on its website that HB1393 "ignores local control". This begs the question, local control to do what? Force local taxpayers to pay potentially thousands of dollars more per pupil than they would if the child attended a public charter school in the district?

HB1449 would change the charter school approval process by requiring that "the educational mission statement shall count for not less than 50 percent in the criteria for evaluating a chartered public school application". HB1449 would thus devalue much more important factors including: Budget and Financial Management, Curriculum, Academic Goals and Serving Students with Special Needs. While a mission statement is indeed important, it is much more important to properly evaluate the many factors which would result in the creation of a high-quality public school.

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