Published on Concord Monitor (http://www.concordmonitor.com)
Home > Legislation would let parents pull kids from school district
January 27, 2012
Rep. Laurie Pettengill of Glen doesn't want her tax dollars - any of them - sent to Switzerland to support a world government that would strip the United States of its sovereign powers.
If even one school district in New Hampshire follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum, that's exactly what will happen, she said yesterday, testifying before the House Education Committee.
Pettengill, along with several local state representatives, has sponsored a bill that would allow parents to pull their child out of a school that adopts the International Baccalaureate curriculum and take the $3,450 in per-pupil state funding with them to a new district.
"What we have here in the United States is the idea that the government isn't a hierarchy that ends with government having the most power. . . . The people tell our leader what to do. We don't believe in a globalist leader," Pettengill said.
International Baccalaureate programs are taught in 141 countries, including more than 1,200 schools in the United States. More than 750 offer the Diploma Programme for 11th- and 12th-grade students, including the New Hampton School and Bedford High School.
In that program, students receive certain textbooks and take particular exams, the same books and exams as students at all the other schools around the world that use the program.
The Merrimack Valley School District is pursuing authorization for the primary years program, for students in elementary and middle school. Only 281 schools in the United States offer that program.
At yesterday's hearing, Pettengill asserted that the program encourages students to think like world citizens whose rights are granted by the United Nations, not as American citizens, whose rights are derived from God.
The committee's chairman, Rep. Michael Balboni, a Republican from Nashua, wondered whether the program would put teachers in violation of a 1949 state law forbidding them to advocate for communism or the overthrow of the United States.
Rep. Charles Brosseau, a Republican from Campton, asked Pettengill, "Does this look like an attempt to influence our students toward the one-world government and against the sovereignty of the United States?"
"Absolutely," she answered.
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(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)