Did N.H. get what it asked for from Republicans?, letter to the Portsmouth Herald, 2/18/12

posted Feb 18, 2012, 10:52 AM by Bill Duncan

February 18, 2012 2:00 AM

Feb. 13 — To the Editor:

When we voted in 2010 for members of the N.H. House of Representatives, did we intend to gut our children's education? Whatever happened to the "laser-like focus on jobs and the economy" that those who ran then as Republicans promised?

In this legislative session, the Republican majority in our House exhibited their deep concern for jobs in New Hampshire by cutting state funding of our university system by $50 million. They have attempted to eliminate any compulsory education (Children should be able to quit school at any age!); to teach the Bible in our public schools; to teach that evolution is "only a theory;" and to eliminate any standards for home-schooled children. If they are successful in eliminating the state's responsibility to provide education for our children, that cost will not disappear. Rather, it will join all the other costs that have been foisted onto N.H. communities — to be paid through our real estate taxes. State expenditures decrease. Your property tax goes up — again.

Rep. Michael Weeden, R-Dover, had his HB 1413 tabled by the House last week (but it can be brought back for a vote at any time). HB 1413 would eliminate New Hampshire's compliance with George W. Bush's famous No Child Left Behind act. Admittedly, NCLB had problems, but it also brings over $61 million into New Hampshire annually for our schools. The NCLB funds help at-risk students, early childhood centers; over 200 extra math and reading tutors and more. If our Legislature does vote to remove New Hampshire from NCLB, the need for those funds will not disappear; your local taxes will make up the difference — again.

Is this what you wanted when you voted in 2010? All elections have consequences — but I do not believe New Hampshire voters had this attack on our children's education in mind when they voted for those people, running as Republicans, who claimed that their primary focus would be on jobs and the economy. Not that I've noticed!

Janice Gardner