DNHPE 4/12/12 Update: Protecting local control of our schools

posted Apr 13, 2012, 2:41 PM by Bill Duncan

Just a word on vouchers.  Christina Hodsdon forwarded the email exchanges she had with Senators Forsythe and Bradley wherein they responded to Christina's eloquent opposition to the voucher plan.  The exchanges represent clearly the points both sides make.  Enjoy.

Protecting New Hampshire students from foreign influence - HB 1403

As you know, HB 1403,which would outlaw use of the International Baccalaureate program in New Hampshire, has been passed by the House and introduced in the Senate.  The public hearing before the Senate Education Committee is anticipated to be held on Tuesday, May 1, but the time is not yet set. This DNHPE Updategives some background on the bill.

Bedford High adopted the program as an optional curriculum for students in 2008 when the new high school was opened.  It has been wildly successful.  School board members and many community members oppose HB 1403.  On Monday, April 9, 2012, the Bedford School Board met with their legislators to discuss several bills of concern, particularly HB 1403.   After the legislative discussion, three legislators, Senator Ray White (R-Bedford), and Reps. Keith Murphy (R-Bedford) and John Graham (R-Bedford), heard from the public about the success of the IB program at Bedford High.  .  Here is a short video with highlights from the public testimony.  

Although only one opponent spoke at The Bedford Patch post (here) about the meeting has accumulated some comments that represent the tone of the opposition to IB:
  • "Well rounded Marxists. That's what IB produces."
  • [The mission of IB] " is to infuse internationalism into our kids' brains, internationalism of course means obeyance to the UN 'government' they dream of having."
  •  "It's a political view which should NOT be being taught to kids in schools where they are there to learn skills and things for their own survival, not to accept world socialism."
  • "The IB program is merely another way to reduce the power of the local citizens and enrich foreign experts."
  • "Any support for Islam is support for a religion whose god calls for the violent suppression of all non-Islamic groups."
  • "Sanctioning Marxism, making it seem acceptable, not teaching how it has killed or starved millions of people, more than even Hitler killed, is a travesty. It is never mentioned. IB also sanctions Islam in some cases as well."
These are the views represented by the legislation.  If these are not your views, be sure to testify on May 1st.

Restricting the rule making authority of the Department of Education - HB 219

HB 219, which would have moved most DOE rule making to the legislature, was voted Inexpedient to Legislate by a voice vote in the Senate on on April 11, 2012.  It is dead for this Legislature.

Additional legislative oversight of Department of Education Rule making -  HB 1360 

HB 1360 has passed the House and been introduced in the Senate but there is no committee hearing scheduled yet.  Currently, the bill provides for increased communication and oversight but not for legislative intervention in DOE rule making.  However, the bill is seen as a possible vehicle for some of the legislative concerns addressed by HB 219.