School kids in the town of Croydon will be forced to attend public schools in neighboring Newport; that is if the town’s tuition dollars are used to pay their way. Sullivan County Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker ruled last Friday that the town’s use of tax dollars to pay tuition at less expensive private schools violates state law. Croydon once had a tuition contract with Newport, but did not renew the exclusive deal to provide unsatisfied parents better choices. Then Croydon School Board Chair Jody Underwood told Girard at Large in an interview that the board had gained approval from the state Department of Education to send kids to private schools. A handful of students chose a local Montessori school, at which they did, and are doing, well. In published news reports, Underwood said the ruling will be appealed to the state supreme court.
In response to the ruling, the only statement we received was from Republican gubernatorial candidate Mayor Ted Gatsas who isued a statement condemning the lawsuit and calling for Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry to resign. Said Gatsas, quote:
I am troubled by the Courts’ decision to rule against the Croydon School Board and I am deeply disturbed by the actions taken by Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry and Attorney General Foster for their crusade against parental choice and local control by choosing to target the Croydon School Board in a costly legal battle.
Gatsas faulted Governor Margaret Wood Hassan for her veto of H B 1 6 3 7, the so called Croydon Bill, which would have fixed the law, making it clear that what Croyden had done was okay to do, saying quote:
Rather than side with parental choice and local control she doubled down and vetoed the legislation that would have taken care of Croydon. HB 1637 was a first step to solving liberal government overreach by Concord and allowed parents and local school boards to choose where their children and students would receive their education.
Citing his commitment to appointing officials who believe in parental choice and local control, Gatsas pledged to work with the legislature to pass the Croydon Bill so he can sign it in his first one hundred days as governor. He also said that in his first one hundred days the opportunity to appoint a new Commissioner of Education will come, but he called for Barry’s resignation anyway saying quote:
…that doesn’t mean we have to wait while the current commissioner continues to ignore parents and local school boards. To this end I call for the resignation of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry and hope Councilor Sununu will rescind his past support for Commissioner Barry by bringing this recommendation forward at tomorrow’s Executive Council meeting.
End quote. That would be today’s Executive Council meeting, by the way.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Pundits speculating on how Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy will affect down ballot races are wrapping their heads in duct tape. As we have said all along, how down ballot races are affected will largely be a function of how down ballot candidates conduct themselves. That is becoming very evident in the G O P nomination race for U S Senate between incumbent Senator Kelly Ayotte and challenger Jim Rubens.
Ayotte, who has said she will vote for Trump, but has refused to endorse his candidacy, issued a brutal rebuke of Trump’s comments regarding Muslims Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the parents of a soldier killed in the War on Terror. Not only has Trump fired back, criticizing Ayotte as weak and disloyal to the country and citing her polls, Democrat Governor Margaret Wood Hassan has piled on, accusing Ayotte of making worthless statements because she still intends to vote for Trump.
Meanwhile, Rubens, who endorsed Trump in the primary and has issued multiple statements supporting him since also attacked Ayotte saying quote:
Donald Trump has outed Ayotte. K-Street-Kelly’s weakness and timidity, her unforgiveable broken promises, and her sell out of conservative Republican principles is payback to the Washington lobbyists who have forked out tens of millions of dollars to prop up her losing campaign. Ayotte’s affinity clearly lies with Hillary Clinton, not our Republican nominee. As Senator, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build an economy that works for all of us, and keep Americans safe without the failed wars that have spread terror and made us less safe. President Trump will need a strong leader in the U.S. Senate to help turn our country around, and I’m ready.
The Manchester Lead Hazard Reduction Program will be offering free lead testing of certain household items during the “One Day of Community” event at Sheridan-Emmett Park this Saturday, August 6th from 10am-2pm. The program is encouraging residents to bring any glassware, dishware, leaded crystal, imported children’s toys, jewelry, fishing tackle, vases, animal hides, keys, newsprint, ornaments, empty imported food cans, sections of a painted surface at least 6 inches across, or other non-edible items for testing on site.
The Manchester Health Department announced that the public beach at Crystal Lake was closed to swimming due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, yesterday. The elevated bacteria levels were identified in a routine water sample taken on Monday, August first. Water samples taken at other locations on the lake did not find elevated levels of bacteria. The Health Department re-sampled the area yesterday and will reopen the beach once bacteria levels return to normal.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!