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Entries in School Choice (136)


Franklin Center - School choice week is coming! 

School Choice Week is coming January 26th!

Do you want to see school reform in your community? Here's a chance to take the next step!  Be a voice for education reform by helping Watchdog Wire cover National School Choice Week, starting January 26th.

Click here to help!

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

Bringing transparency to Texas

Less than a year after Jon Cassidy,'s Texas bureau chief, blew the whistle on shenanigans in a local school district, two officials have been indicted. Jon's story drew attention to ongoing multi-million dollar fraud in the Beaumont Independent School District--which the rest of the state's media had willfully ignored. The two officials face 19 felony counts, and taxpayers in the district are beginning to understand where their money has gone. This is the power of great journalism, and these are the kinds of stories our Watchdog reporters produce throughout the country.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

P.S. If you would like to help us keep up the fight for a free press, you can donate here!


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NHGOP Statement On Hassan Asking Supreme Court To Uphold Ruling On Education Tax Credits

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ConcordNew Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement today in Governor Hassan asking the State Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that deems education tax credits unconstitutional.


"Education choice is about parents being able to find the best possible educational opportunities for their children, regardless of family income. We must put an end to the era of allowing zip code to determine educational outcome. The School Choice Bill passed last session leveled the playing field, offering even our poorest students the opportunity to access the educational environment that is best for them.


"Governor Hassan's attempt to destroy this worthy program displays an elitist and callous disregard for the most vulnerable students in our community. Private funds, not taxpayer dollars, support Education Opportunity Tax Credit Scholarships raising more than $150,000 to support the students who have applied for them. It is obvious that citizens of New Hampshire are supportive of this critical program and want to see it continued."


NHDP - NHGOP Doubles Down On Anti-Public Education Agenda 

Concord - New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement after the NHGOP doubled down on their reckless support for the scandal plagued education voucher credit law.

"It is shameful that the NHGOP is doubling down on this scandal plagued attempt to undermine New Hampshire's public education system and downshift costs to local communities.  Not only has this reckless voucher program been an absolute failure, but this spring it was revealed that the out of state individuals operating it approached charitable organizations with a kick-back scheme aimed at boosting their own bottom line."
  "It should also be noted that the NHGOP's pathetic press release attempting to defend this broken and ethically questionable voucher scheme listed executive director Matt Mowers as the contact.  If Mowers is so eager to engage with the press, then why is he still dodging their questions about his involvement in Governor Christie's mounting bridge scandal that put public safety at risk in the name of political retribution? If he is available to attack New Hampshire's public education system, then he should face the people and answer questions about his role Christie's scandal-plagued operation."


NHCIS - NH Charter School News & Updates 

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January 12, 2014
Funding Bill Moves to House Finance Committee
The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently voted to move a bill forward that would increase funding for public charter school students. HB435 now goes to House Finance. During debate members from both parties rose to speak in support of the bill which ultimately received strong bipartisan support.  
NH charter schools are currently the lowest funded charter schools in the country. HB435 would increase per pupil funding from approximately 40% of the state average per student to 50%. This modest increase would strengthen these public schools and ensure that they remain the highly efficient and accountable programs that we have come to expect.
Roll Call Confusion
During the votes on HB435, a number of legislators made repeated requests to have a roll call vote taken. A roll call creates a public record of the vote. This is an
important tool for any democracy. There does not appear to be a record of the final vote on HB435 however there are records for the first and second votes which sought to ITL or kill the bill.

How did your representative vote on HB435? Click here to find out. (red signifies a "yes" to ITL/Kill HB435, green signifies a "no" to ITL which keeps the bill alive)
Surry Village Charter School News
Students at SVCS have recently begun to produce and host their own news programs over the web. Not only are the programs interesting to watch but the process gave students the opportunity to research and write their own news pieces, learn about broadcast journalism, and stream content live over the Internet.
ASD in Granite State Challenge
Academy for Science and Design students continue to impress the state. A team of six students are one of 16 finalist teams competing in the NH Public Television Granite State Challenge beginning this weekend. The show will be taping for the next few Saturdays and begin airing programs on February 8th, at 6p, and re-air during the week. GOOD LUCK ASD!  
Granite State Arts Academy Secures Building
Granite State Arts Academy is a new charter high school expected to open in September 2014. We were excited to learn that GSSA recently secured a lease for what will become the home of the school. The founders at GSSA have worked tirelessly over the last three years to make this school a reality.


"We are pleased to have located in the Brookstone Park Center. The building is wonderful and will accommodate our student population nicely. Modifications will begin within the month building out the arts rooms to suit our needs. The excitement is building as we watch our vision take shape." said Chairperson Wendie Leweck.
Gate City Founder on HB435
Karin Cevasco, co-founder of the Gate City Charter School for the Arts recently sat down with Michael Brindley of NHPR to discuss charter schools and HB435. Gate City will be located in Nashua and is expected to open in September 2014.
National Level Advocates
Have you ever wondered who advocates for public charter school students on the national level? Charters have many friends including The Gates Foundation, The Walton Foundation and The Friedman Foundation. Another important organization that we should all support is the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

National Alliance advocates for increased federal funding, provides trainings around the country, hosts a national conference and conducts important charter school research and reporting. The Alliance also provides state level assistance, for example they created a very effective Action Alert for the NH Charter School Association

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.

NH House Republican Alliance statement on Charter School funding 

CONCORD – The House Republican Alliance (HRA) today issued a statement on the passage of HB 435, a bill that allows additional funding for charter public schools students.  This bill increases funding to 50% of the most recent available statewide average.
“This is a win-win for the charter school students who have been grossly underfunded for years.  It is a first step in the legislative process in assuring the increase in funding for charter school students.” Stated Rep. Al Baldasaro- Londonderry.
“Increase in funding may attract more charter schools around the state, and especially in the north country. Four charter schools have been closed in the past year, all due to lack of funding,” commented Rep. Ralph Boehm- Litchfield. “There are many types of charter schools in the state that appeal to a wide variety of needs for our students.  This bill will help students by providing more choice in education and needed funding for the schools that fit their needs.”