“It was an outstanding day on the senate floor for parents across the state. The senate put themselves out there to block the over reach of the Department of Education and in support local control of our schools.”
That’s what Doris Hohensee, President of New Hampshire Families for Education had to say after the State Senate voted to amend House Bill 3 2 3, a bill critics say would have allowed the Department of Education to strip parents of their right to refuse standardized testing by using that testing to determine whether or not children could go onto the next grade.
Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, sponsored the amendment language which reads quote:
Each year, a statewide assessment shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school. School districts may achieve the goals set out in 193-C by administering an assessment of their choice in each of the following: grade spans 3-5, 6-8, and grade 11, with local school district developed assessments. A school district may use the College Board SAT or ACT college readiness assessment to satisfy the high school assessment requirements of this chapter.
That’s a far cry from the original language which read quote: Each year, a statewide assessment program supported by the local school district or a performance-based assessment designed to yield specific data to use in identifying and improving instruction shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school, or alternatively, in selected grades from 3 through 12.
Beech Street Elementary School has received seven thousand dollars from The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to enhance its media center reading collection. More than eight hundred seventy five thousand dollars is being distributed to one hundred thirty one school libraries across the country. Beech Street is the only school in New Hampshire to receive a grant from the foundation. Quote: “By providing more schools with better reading materials, the Laura Bush Foundation helps students understand more of the world around them, and its limitless possibilities,” said Mrs. Bush in a statement released by the Manchester School District. The Foundation provides grants to schools so that they can extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections in their libraries with the goal of encouraging students to develop a love of reading and learning. Beech Street School librarian Kim Warren wrote and submitted the grant.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Network for Educational Opportunity is seeking donors to the New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides tax credits to businesses who donate to their scholarship fund benefiting low and moderate income parents who want send their children to an out of district public or private school that better serves their needs. “The more businesses that participate, the more scholarships we can grant,” said NEO Executive Director Kate Baker who asked for our help to spread the word. The deadline for businesses to donate to the scholarship fund and receive a tax credit against their Business Enterprise and or Business Profits taxes is June 15. A business donating $1000 could see a tax savings of $958 with the NH Education Tax Credit and federal tax deduction. “From $100 with an $85 tax credit to $100,000 with an $85,000 tax credit, every donatoin counts,” said Baker. We’ve linked to the paperwork Education Tax Credit Application. and to a brief video that explains the program. K-12 Scholarships have real effect on New Hampshire children. https://vimeo.com/124366638
The Town Council in Hooksett is going to have to appoint a Councilor to represent District One, the seat vacated by Councilor Todd Lizotte that saw nobody put their name on the ballot and had a write in tie with each candidate garnering just two votes. Town Council Chairman Jim Sullivan has requested official notices to be sent out with the hopes of nominating candidates in the first meeting in June and voting to appoint the considered candidates during the second meeting in June.
Also from Hooksett, the school board voted six to one to authorize a one year extension of the current tuition contract with the Manchester School District to facilitate negotiations for a long term contract. Both boards have authorized their superintendents to begin negotiations, which won’t begin until July as Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston’s schedule is apparently unavailable until then.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!