There is a lot of action on the three biggest pieces of anti-public education legislation in the Legislature this year. This Update is a supplement to last Friday's Update, which you can read here.
As you know, the House voted last week to "nonconcur" with the Senate version of CACR 12. They have requested a Committee of Conference but the Senate has not yet responded. Here is the starting point for our coverage on it.
The public debate is heating up. Some, like the Union Leader and the Foster's, are pressuring the Republican House to compromise. House leadership is trying to shift the pressure to the Governor, who is having none of it, which you can see from this Union Leader story, reported in essentially the same way in other papers. Kevin Landrigan added it all up in a very interesting way in yesterday's Nashua Telegraph, saying that the "likely scenario" is "that no education amendment can thread the needle to get the speaker, governor and Senate president onboard" and that, "Critics of the House leader believe this is all about getting out in front of the blame game and winning that contest hands down before it begins."
There is a real opportunity to defeat this amendment in the House. Be sure your legislator knows how you feel about it. The arguments on each side are laid outhere.
This is an alternative education funding amendment that many conservatives and Free Staters would prefer over CACR 12. It makes all education funding local, makes state aid entirely optional and opens the door to funding religious schools.
CACR 8 has been on the House Calendar for two weeks now but the Speaker has postponed action because there has been insufficient support. Apparently, while he cannot get conservatives to vote for CACR 12, he cannot get moderates to vote for CACR 8. Most Democrats are opposed to either one.
CACR 8 is scheduled to come up again this Wednesday.
The voucher bills, HB 1607 and SB 372, are both scheduled to be voted on at this Wednesday's sessions of the House and the Senate. They are essentially identical. If both bills pass, each body will send its bill to the other, which will hold public hearings, report the bills out of committee and vote on them again.
Letters to editors today that might get printed by Wednesday would be great. To get you going, here's one from a voucher supporter. It has appeared in a couple of papers so far.
I sent this to all legislators yesterday, making the case for accountability in the proposed private school voucher plan. This morning I sent this press releaseoutlining the argument against the plan. Feel free to crib for letters.
Hoping to make noise,