USNH:  Looking for BIG state spending spike

USNH: Looking for BIG state spending spike

The University System of New Hampshire is looking for lawmakers to add two hundred five million dollars in state funding to their budget.  If granted, university officials say they would guarantee a second two-year freeze on tuition for New Hampshire students.  Pamela Diamantis, Chair of the university system’s Board of Trustees said quote: “It is critical for the future of our state that we join together to make public higher education more affordable for the 20,000 plus New Hampshire students who will in turn help us meet the state’s workforce demands.”  University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston blamed a sharp drop in the number of applications from New Hampshire students on the 49 percent cut in state aid enacted as legislators closed a nearly billion dollar deficit in the budget back in two thousand eleven.  University officials said if their funding request is granted, they will also provide scholarships for STEM programs.

Sanborn:  Withdraws from race for Speaker of the House

Sanborn: Withdraws from race for Speaker of the House

State Representative Laurie Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, has withdrawn from the race for Speaker of the House.  In a statement issued yesterday, Sanborn said tending to her ill husband’s immediate needs had to take precedent over her ambitions to be Speaker.  Sanborn’s married to State Senator Andy Sanborn, who was released from a local hospital two days ago after being hospitalized on Election Day.  There have been few details over Sanborn’s ailment, though the couple has said it won’t be long before things are back to normal.

O'Brien:  Establishment opposed

O’Brien: Establishment opposed

The race for speaker has been fiercely waged behind the scenes and establishment Republicans are lobbying feverishly to elect current Republican Leader Gene Chandler of Bartlett over former Speaker Bill O’Brien of Mont Vernon.  Rightly or wrongly, insiders say, O’Brien is a lightening rod whose demonization by the Democrats was a liability to their candidates up and down the ticket in two thousand and twelve.  Headed into two thousand sixteen, the G O P doesn’t want O’Brien in power as Speaker of the House fearing he would again be an anchor around the party’s candidates.

Chandler:  Establishment pick

Chandler: Establishment pick

So great is the concern that Senator Kelly Ayotte reportedly called Sanborn to ask her to drop out of the race and support Chandler.  Ayotte also co-signed a letter with former governors John Sununu and Steve Merrill, former congressman Charlie Bass and former speakers Doug Scamman and Donna Sytek urging the election of Chandler.  O’Brien has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus.  His supporters say he’s got a bum rap for doing a difficult job in trying times and deserves party support, not derision.  They also say that Chandler is the guy the Democrats want as Speaker.  The letter signed by Ayotte and friends, without mentioning any names, said quote:  ““As we have learned in the past, our tone, our message and our actions will be center stage as to whether Republicans will earn the right to continue to govern…The decisions we make and the actions we take over the next two years will determine the long-term success of New Hampshire Republicans.”  In announcing her decision, Sanborn did not say whom she planned to support in the race for speaker.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

MPD:  Big drug raid completed

MPD: Big drug raid completed

Two dozen drug dealing dirtbags are off Manchester’s streets thanks to the successful execution of Operation Fall Clean Up.  Law enforcement officials announced the arrests yesterday after months of investigative work done by several units within the Manchester Police Department and several cooperating state and federal agencies.  In addition to the arrests, police seized lots of guns, cash and drugs.  They also released the names of those who were picked up.  We’ve posted all the details, including the names, addresses and other personal information on those arrested in a separate post to Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this newscast.

MSD:  On the AP Honor Roll

MSD: On the AP Honor Roll

The Manchester School District is one of 5 4 7 school districts in the U.S. and Canada honored by being named to the College Board’s 5th Annual Advances Placement® District Honor Roll for increasing access to advanced placement course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on A P Exams. Only six districts in New Hampshire have achieved this objective this year.  Along with Manchester, the Exeter, Goffstown, Lebanon, Oyster River and Windham school districts also made the honor roll.

Reaching these goals indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of A P.  Since 2 0 1 2, the district  has increased the number of students participating while improving the number of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher.  Inclusion on the Honor Roll is based on three years of A P data, from 2 0 1 2 to 2 0 1 4, looking across 3 4 A P exams.  To make the list, districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to A P by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts; Manchester is a medium-sized district and saw an increase of 10 percent over those two years.
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/ Latino, and American Indian/ Alaska Native students; the rate in Manchester rose from 5 percent  in 2012 to 7 percent in 2 0 1 4.
  • Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2 0 1 4 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher; Manchester’s percentage of those students scoring at least a 3 in 2014 was 7 5 percent.

Seems to me that Manchester was making this progress during the time the federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights was saying it stunk.  Maybe the district ought to send them their press release with the announcement and the data they used to show what’s really happening in our schools.  Anyway, congrats to the district and the teachers on a job well done for the kids.  We’ve uploaded the district’s release with this newscast so you can get all the details.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.