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Entries in School Vouchers (22)

Friday
Aug212015

NHDP - Day of Attacks by GOP in the Granite State, Teachers Fight Back on Behalf of Students 

 

KEENE, N.H. - Today, Jeb Bush held a Town Hall in Keene, New Hampshire, just a day after he bashed teachers at an Education Summit in Londonderry and said he wanted to voucherize education, a concept that would drain resources from our public education system and from programs that support low-income kids.

 

President of the Keene Education Association, Maureen Meyer made the following statement, in response:

 

“One by one, the Republican Presidential candidates have attacked teachers for being the problem, not part of the solution. When Jeb Bush admitted yesterday that he wanted to dismantle and voucherize our education system, it’s clear that he isn’t putting kids first or respecting the positive impact our public schools and teachers have on vulnerable, low-income children here in New Hampshire.”

 

“If the candidates really wanted comprehensive education plans that put students first, they should have invited the experts to talk to them - the members of their teacher associations.”

 

But Jeb Bush wasn’t the only one bashing teachers yesterday. Here’s a sampling of what some of the candidates said:

 

Jeb Bush: Blamed unions for problems in schools and even ‘bragged’ about his fights with teachers in Florida all while suggesting we voucherize education to the detriment of students across New Hampshire.

 

John Kasich: Instead of explaining his harmful $1.8 billion cut to public schools, he said this:  "If I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers' lounges, where they sit together and worry about, 'Woe is us.'"

 

Chris Christie: Doubled down on previous comments that teachers deserve “a punch in the facewhile saying nothing of the over $1 billion in damaging cuts he made to education funding in New Jersey.

 

Scott Walker: Said unions were a “barrier” to quality education and touted his union-busting credentials. Not discussed? His massive cuts to education funding in Wisconsin.

 

Carly Fiorina: Said teachers unions were partially responsible for crippling innovation in schools”

 

The Concord Monitor reported that “one voice conspicuously absent from the list of panelists at Wednesday’s education summit of Republican presidential candidates was that of a teacher.” Read more about the attacks on teachers and response below or click here for the full article:

Inside and outside, candidates and teacher union members trade barbs at education summit

Concord Monitor // Ella Nilsen

One voice conspicuously absent from the list of panelists at Wednesday’s education summit of Republican presidential candidates was that of a teacher.

Outside the education summit at Londonderry High School, it was a different story.

They “have openly come out against public schools and really would like to dismantle public schools,” said NEA-NH president Scott McGilvray. “We can’t let it go without pushing back against it.”...

The animosity between the teachers’ union members outside and the Republican candidates inside was palpable.

As each of the six candidates took the stage, they often blamed unions for country’s struggle with education. Many said the organizations exist only “to collectively bargain” and protect the interest of their members...

Carly Fiorina called teachers unions “pretty universally on the wrong side of these issues.”

Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker called unions a “barrier” to good education and talked at length about his own highly publicized fight against them in his home state of Wisconsin.

“The NEA went after me,” Walker said. “I threaten them; I threaten them because I care about getting things done.”...

McGilvray and other teachers union leaders from Maine denied the way candidates were characterizing them and said their organizations are there to support teachers and students, saying that without fair pay and benefits, fewer teachers will want to join the profession.

“We’re not the villains,” said Strout.

McGilvray said he was concerned the 2016 Republican candidates were taking their stances on education to the extreme.

“I believe among the top candidates are the most anti-public education, anti-working class group we have ever seen,” he said.

NEA NH officials said they have invited each Republican presidential candidate to talk about education issues and potentially receive the union’s endorsement… This election cycle, no Republican candidate has yet responded, Strout said.

“Not one of them said thank you for the invitation,” he said. “It says they don’t want to engage with people who know what’s going on in schools.”...

“We need to stop the attacks on public education by uniting behind policies that are right for our children and right for our schools,” McGilvray said.

###
Tuesday
May192015

NRSC - Maggie Hassan Is Against School Vouchers

NRSC

 

Maggie Hassan Is Against School Vouchers

WASHINGTON – With the school year coming to a close, the NRSC is starting a series reminding voters that elitist Governor Maggie Hassan opposes school vouchers which would enable students to attend the school that fits them best.  

“Every child should be able to attend the school that fits them best, but Maggie Hassan disagrees as she voted against school vouchers,” said NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox. “Hassan’s elitist view that big government should dictate which school each child attends is fundamentally wrong.”  

BACKGROUND …

In May 2006, The New Hampshire State Senate Approved Legislation That Would Create A Scholarship Foundation To Provide School Vouchers For Low-Income Families. “Low-income families would be eligible for vouchers to send their children to better schools under a plan approved by the state Senate on Thursday. The bill calls for spending $250,000 to start a quasi-private foundation that would solicit donations for scholarships that low-income families could use for tuition at private schools or public schools outside their district. It also would streamline state funding for existing charter schools and provide $400,000 in startup money for new ones. Several Senate Democrats said as much as they supported those provisions, they could not vote for a bill that included vouchers.” (“Senate Approves School Vouchers,” The Associated Press, 5/5/06)

The Legislation Established A Quasi-Private Foundation To Collect Donations For Scholarships. “The bill calls for spending $250,000 to start a quasi-private foundation that would solicit donations for scholarships that low-income families could use for tuition at private schools or public schools outside their district. It also would streamline state funding for existing charter schools and provide $400,000 in startup money for new ones. Several Senate Democrats said as much as they supported those provisions, they could not vote for a bill that included vouchers.” (“Senate Approves School Vouchers,” The Associated Press, 5/5/06)

In May 2006, Hassan Voted Against Legislation That Would Appropriate $250,000 To Create A Public-Private Foundation To Provide Scholarships For New Hampshire Students For Private Or Public Schools. “An Act relative to distribution of state aid to charter schools and relative to funding for charter schools.” (H.B. 76, Roll Call Vote #124, Motion To Pass Adopted 15-8, 5/4/06, Hassan Voted Nay; Senate Journal 14, 5/4/06, pg. 579)

Friday
Aug292014

NH Rep O'Brien - Supreme Court decision on Duncan v. State of New Hampshire 

In 2012 the New Hampshire legislature overrode Democrat Gov. Lynch’s veto and passed the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a law intended to give the children from poor and medium income families the opportunity to get the same educational opportunities that the children of Gov. Lynch and so many of his well-heeled political and union boss friends enjoy.  This pro-educational choice law allows businesses to give a very limited amount of their pretax dollars to private charities set up to give all but a small percentage of the funds they receive to educate children from families earning no more than 300% of the federal poverty line.
 
Ever since this law came into effect, vested educational industry interests, led by those who do not have to send their children to failing schools, have tried to reverse Gov. Lynch’s failed gubernatorial veto with a judicial veto.  They forum-shopped for a favorable judge.  They had that judge issue a decision limiting the law based on premise that would make any liberal smile: he said, in effect, that all your money first belongs to the government, so if government leaves some to you after taxes with the knowledge that you might spend it on a religious-based education, then government is supporting religion.
 
This trial court decision has now been subject to review in the New Hampshire Supreme Court and fortunately, it was reversed.  The decision found the plaintiffs lack standing to be in court challenging this law.  As a consequent, the Supreme Court overturned this clearly erroneous decision. 
 
The Supreme Court today rejected the trial court’s decision that in effect would have told the NH Legislature to be hostile and not neutral toward religions.  Our state constitution does not lay the foundation for such a radical and harmful government.
   
New Hampshire scholarship students will be able to attend the schools of their choice.  They and their parents will decide and if their decisions are for religious schools or secular schools, it will be up to them and not up to vested education industry interests trying to corral all students into failed government schools.
 
Decades of union and liberal tinkering and reforms have tainted the splendor of what was a public education system that was the envy of the world.  We must do better for our children.  We must expand the education choices available to all families, even those not as rich as the present and past New Hampshire governors opposing educational choice and the lead plaintiff in the Duncan case.  The journey to a better education for our children must and will continue.
 

Friday
Aug292014

NHDP Statement on NH Supreme Court's Decision Not to Rule on Reckless Education Voucher Law 

Manchester, NH – After the New Hampshire Supreme Court decided earlier today not to rule on the constitutionality of the reckless and irresponsible education voucher law, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to rule on the reckless, fiscally irresponsible and unconstitutional education voucher law that could dismantle New Hampshire public schools.

“Already, two lower courts have found the law to be in violation of the state's constitution.

“This disastrous education voucher law funnels public funding to unaccountable out of state right-wing groups bent on destroying our public education system and hampers our state's ability to provide Granite State students the education they deserve.

“The education voucher law also irresponsibly shifts burdensome costs to local communities and forces property tax payers to foot the bill.

“Republicans like Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway who support this misguided and right-wing education voucher law will have to answer to Granite State voters why they want to raise their property taxes and undermine their public education.”

Wednesday
May072014

Rubens For US Senate - Rubens Statement on Duncan Nomination to State Board of Education

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Jim Rubens, joins the broad opposition of the nomination of William Duncan to the New Hampshire Board of Education and issued the following statement: 

“William Duncan is not a suitable school leader because he opposes giving deserving parents control over where their children go to school. He opposes the single most promising set of school reforms seen in New Hampshire over the past twenty years: charter schools and scholarships. Charter schools are showing how thousands more New Hampshire students can reach their full potential in diverse learning environments at half the cost per student. 

Rubens is author of New Hampshire's charter school law and supports a national school voucher program for deserving students.