Press Releases

 

Entries in School Choice (132)

Sunday
Aug232015

Watchdog - Same-gender schools are improving academic performance

Friday
Jul242015

Watchdog.org - Parents risk jail for their kids  

 

Tesla gets $295M in cap & trade credits for technology not offered to customers

The credits came through a government program that was supposed to encourage Tesla to promote its new battery-swap technology, but the program didn't require evidence that the company actually provided the service.
 
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Trending Articles
Education
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In D.C., parents risk jail to get students into highly ranked schools
 
Many parents in the D.C. area are risking jail time to send their kids to better schools in other districts. Could more school choice programs be part of the solution?
 
 

 

Energy
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A big fight over a natural gas pipeline project divides Massachusetts
 
Even though it could save ratepayers billions, critics have lined up to oppose a proposed natural gas pipeline that would service customers in Massachusetts and New England.
 
 

 

Health Care
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If Gov. Kasich is on the Republican ticket, Obamacare repeal is off the table
 
Most of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s arguments for expanding Medicaid coverage under Obamacare sound like they were written by Democratic strategists. If he's on the GOP presidential ticket, Obamacare repeal won't be an option.
 
 

 

Obama commutes life sentence of ‘nonviolent’ drug dealer charged with death threat

 
The federal prison system may be full of incarcerated nonviolent offenders, but Stephen Donovan isn’t exactly the unfortunate, incarcerated soul the mainstream media and Obama administration make him out to be.
 
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Watchdog Arena
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Next battle in the sharing economy war: Worker classification

 

The big question threatening to upend the sharing economy business model of companies like Uber and TaskRabbit is how to classify the people providing services. Are they employees, or contractors?

Monday
Jun152015

NH Center For Innovative Schools - Fate of NH charters to be decided this week 

June 14, 2015
In this issue

Over the next week the New Hampshire state legislature will quite literally decide the fate of New Hampshire's public charter school program. New Hampshire charter schools are currently the lowest funded charters in the nation receiving about $5,500 per pupil. After six years of flat funding these schools are at risk and an update to the funding formula must occur this session. If action is not taken we risk damaging these high-quality public schools and tumbling toward a "race to the bottom" as families seek opportunity in other states.

Original Intent of HB563

According to HB563's prime sponsor Representative Ken Weyler, the original intent of HB563 was to link per pupil funding to 50% of the state average cost per pupil. This would provide a natural increase in per pupil funding as costs rise. HB563 was changed in committee however and as amended would provide a modest $36 dollar per pupil increase in year one (this is not a typo) and a $1,036 increase per pupil in year two. Per pupil funding would remain relatively static after year two. (Readers should note that HB563 received bipartisan in the House including almost all House republicans and over two dozen democrats).

 

The Senate initially voted to support HB563 (no senate democrats voted in favor of HB563) however the Senate then voted to table the bill and address charter funding in the budget. See section below, "House VS Senate Budget". 

House VS Senate Budget
Although the Senate budget appears to spend about $100 million more than the House, it cuts $3 million from the charter school line item. It does this by reducing the increase in per pupil aid passed in the House budget by 75% to $250.
 

To help illustrate the critical need to address funding this session I would point out that even State Board of Education member Bill Duncan testified in support of a $1,000 per pupil increase in February.
Sunday
May172015

NH Charter Schools - Senate votes to table HB563 putting more schools at risk

May 15, 2015

Dear charter school parents,

 

We regret to inform you that yesterday the New Hampshire State Senate voted to table the charter school funding bill HB563. I know that many of you have questions and I will do my best to answer them.

  

What Happened?

The Senate initially voted to support HB563 which would have kept the bill alive and moved it to the senate finance committee. After the initial vote however Senator Bradley moved to table the bill. That vote passed so the bill will not move forward and is effectively dead.

 

But I thought the Senate Supported Charter Schools?

So did we. A number of bills that passed the House with strong bipartisan support have languished or died in the senate this year.

 

What's Next?

Schools will start closing next year unless the Senate joins with the House to update the funding formula.

 

1 - The Senate could decide to include HB563's language in their version of the budget.

 

2 - The Senate could agree to the House version of the budget.

 

3 - The Senate may decide to hold increased funding hostage for concessions from the House during budget negotiations.

 

What can I do as a parent?

Stay involved and hold legislators accountable for their votes. Republicans are in charge in the Senate and it is up to them to make this right.

 

Background on HB563

 

HB563 as amended would provide a modest $36 dollar increase in the first year (this is not a typo) and update the funding formula to increase per pupil aid by $1,000 starting in year two of the budget. Per pupil aid for charters has remained flat since 2009 and these schools are at risk.
 

"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants"  Justice Louis D. Brandeis

 

BACKGROUND - HOUSE VOTES TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 222-116 to support increased funding for public charter schools. All but five republicans voteds in support of HB563 joined by twenty eight democrats.

 

Emotion overcame decorum as parents and students cheered as the vote was announced.

 

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.
Tuesday
Apr282015

SchoolChoiceNH - Press Conference -- Save Our Kids 

Press Conference -- Save Our Kids

April 28, 2015 at 8:30am in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building, Concord
co-hosted by NH Families for Education and School Choice for NH


The NH Senate votes shortly on the most important education bill of the year, HB 323. It is tied to New Hampshire's No Child Left Behind Waiver. As written the bill establishes a new, untested pilot program, which is to be Regionally-implemented under the control of the Commissioner of Education, not our locally elected school boards. It will require districts to adopt Common Core, in opposition to recently passed legislation to the contrary, SB 101.
 
In obtaining this two-year waiver Commissioner Virginia Barry committed to transitioning all our public schools over to this Regionally-controlled model. There was no advanced legislative approval for this plan. The Commissioner is seeking legislative approval after-the-fact, even though many of the details of this pilot program are still undetermined. The bill has been written in such a way as to give the Commissioner a blank check to work out these details with the US Department of Education. Why do we need to elect state senators if they are so easily persuaded to abdicate their law-making duties to the Commissioner and US Secretary Arne Duncan?
 
 A bill that gives broad powers to the Commissioner to re-design our entire statewide assessment system without any checks-and-balances by the legislature is absurd. If the senate approves this legislation, it will have officially abdicated its responsibility to govern.
 
HB 323 would enable this integrated assessment program and parents would no longer be able to opt-out, or refuse these tests. Parents' rights must be respected.
 
Our children's education should not be based on untested educational reforms. Local districts should not be forced to relinquish control of their districts to state and federal agencies that are remote and inaccessible. The senate should respect the checks-and-balances built into our political system and not walk away from this important issue.
 
The Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session starting at 9:00 am at which time they are expected to vote on HB 323.
 
Please join us for a press conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 8:30 am in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building.