DNHPE 3/5/12 Update: CACR 12, Bad Research and Legislative Training

posted Mar 5, 2012, 10:46 AM by Bill Duncan
Defending New Hampshire Public Education
Contact: Bill Duncan 603-682-4748

CACR 12, the Education Funding Amendment
The CACR 12 debate continues to evolve quickly, with Senator Jeb Bradley taking the lead for amendment supporters.  The Portsmouth Herald came out in support of the amendment last Friday, basically supporting Senator Bradley's argument that the current system is irrational because the New Hampshire Supreme Court decisions seem to require the State to send aid to communities that don't need it in order to target some aid to communities that do need it.  (I would disagree, but that's a longer discussion.)

Senator Bradley's presentation of his case has evolved from this initial OpEd on the Union Leader to this one in the Concord Monitor.  The heart of it is that the current formulas don't work and that, if freed of Court oversight, the Legislature would target State support to school systems in need. But the Monitor doesn't agree, saying, "Let's not go back to the bad old days."

The Governor and the Senate have are selling as hard as they can.  It's possible the House will not go along, but we cannot rely on that.  We need to respond just as strongly, clearly and persuasively.  Here is the page under which I'm putting everything about CACR 12.

Voucher Advocates Present a Shaky Case
I sent this email to our legislators this morning about two "studies" circulated by voucher advocates to make their case.  One is the misleading poll we've written about here.

The other is a study that asserts that school systems save a lot when students leave.  It says that if a school district lost 10-20% of its students, it could reduce expenses proportionately.   

This is not actually a study (here is our comment on it) but would not apply to New Hampshire in any case.  While the proposed education tax credit plan could triple the loss of enrollment faced by New Hampshire public schools (a real problem, discussed here in yesterday's Union Leader), the initial size of  the New Hampshire program it too small to achieve savings of any kind in the the school districts.  We've talked in past Updates about the school boards alarmed by the loss of state aid when voucher students left.

Getting Involved in the Legislative Process
Bonnie Dunham, a highly effective advocate for children with disabilities, is holding a legislative training at the Moore Center in Manchester from 6-8:00 PM on March 19th.  Bonnie's brochure is attached.  This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in understanding how to have an impact on the New Hampshire legislative process.