The New Hampshire Senate voted to pass H B 563, which would increase the state grant for each pupil in a public chartered school by one thousand dollars per year. The bill was then tabled in order to be considered in the Senate budget proposal. In a statement issued yesterday, Senate Education Chair John Reagan, Republican from Deerfield said quote: “It is in the best interest of the New Hampshire Senate to support public charter schools because they create a competitive educational environment within school districts which improves student performance in public schools overall. Students in the charter schools do well because materials are presented to them in creative and meaningful ways and it important for us to maintain their ability to do so.”
The Senate also voted to approve House Bill 6 0 3, which declares that a student exempted from taking the statewide assessment by the student’s parent or legal guardian shall not be penalized. The bill also requires a school district to provide an appropriate alternative educational activity for the time period during which the assessment is administered. Supporters say this bill effectively codifies the acknowledged, but under assault right of parents to refuse their children’s participation in standardized assessments. As this bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk, advocates are urging proponents to contact Her Highness, The Governess Margaret Wood Hassan, and express support for the bill.
In another much anticipated vote, the Senate approved House Bill 3 3 2, which requires school districts to provide advance notice to parents and legal guardians about course material involving discussion of human sexuality or human sexual education. Bill sponsor Victoria Sullivan, Republican from Manchester’s Ward Nine, issued a statement on the bill’s passage yesterday saying quote “There have been very public local incidents where parents would have chosen to handle the subject matter in a different manner than a school or teacher chose to. In these instances parents found out after the fact and that made for a very difficult situation for all. This bill would alleviate that kind of conflict between parents and schools and instead make them partners in education as should be the case.” We’ve published and linked to her entire statement.
It looks like the pitched battle over House Bill 3 2 3 will continue as senators “special ordered” the bill, meaning it’s going back to committee to be reworked. The state Department of Education has pushed the bill, saying it’s necessary for them to expand the PACE Pilot Program, which they say will give school districts fewer tests and greater local input and has been approved by the federal Department of Education. Opponents say just the opposite will happen and worse. They contend that it will increase the amount of testing, making it weekly, and involve the state in determining whether or not kids progress to the next grade level. Because those tests will be used to determine whether or not kids have mastered the state required competencies, opponents say there will be no way for parents to refuse participation as they now can.
Finally, senators tabled the repeal of the Buffer Zone Bill after the vote to repeal it failed on a twelve twelve tie.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold issued a statement earlier in the week saying he called for debates between the three Democrats who have declared their candidacies for mayor at last Saturday’s annual meeting and election of officers of the Manchester Democratic Committee. The statement also said that Arnold had quote “urged party officials to take an active role in organizing such debates” following his speech to the assembled party members. Given that, we forwarded Arnold’s release to rivals Joyce Craig and Jawed Ali Baba with a request to know whether or not they would debate Arnold as challenged and offering our airwaves and keen moderation skills to host a debate.
“The first I heard of it was from the email you sent me,” said Craig. Weird. Given her response, we contacted Democrat City Committee Chair Ryan Mahoney, who, in reply to our inquiry, emailed quote “I do not recall Alderman Arnold specifically calling for debates at our meeting on Saturday and I did not have any conversations with him or his campaign following the meeting where they urged the City Committee to be actively involved in organizing debates.” An inquiry of State Democratic Party Spokesperson Aaron Jacobs has not yet been responded to.
As to whether or not Craig would debate Arnold and Ali Baba as suggested by the press release, Craig said there’ll be plenty of time for that and that right now she’s focused on meeting voters and working as an alderman on the budget, after which she says she will be a guest on our adorable radio show, and attending to her constituents concerns. For his part, Ali Baba said he’d be glad to debate.
Crime continues to grind at the little town of Candia with last month’s numbers showing yet another spike in activity! During the April/May reporting period, the Candia Police Department issued 171 motor vehicle warnings and 11 motor vehicle summonses. There were also fourteen arrests, half of which were for the Possession of Controlled Drugs. Other offenses included Driving After Suspension, Burglary, Simple Assault, Domestic Violence and Breach of Bail, among others. Pray for Candia, folks. Just pray.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!