New Hampshire House Education Committee Votes to Withdraw from No Child Left Behind - Twice, 1/27/12

posted Jan 27, 2012, 8:54 AM by Bill Duncan
January 27, 2012
Press Release
Defending New Hampshire Public Education
Contact: Bill Duncan 603-682-4748

New Hampshire House Education Committee Votes to Withdraw from No Child Left Behind - Twice

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, the House Education Committee voted along party lines to pass out HB 1517 and HB 1413 with a recommendation of "Ought to Pass."  Both bills mandate that New Hampshire would withdraw from any participation in No Child Left Behind.  According to the Department of Education, the result will be that New Hampshire will lose $61 million in federal funding for education in Fiscal Year 2012 and a similar amount each year thereafter.

The Committee Chair, Representative Michael Balboni (R-Nashua) is the prime sponsor of HB 1517.  When asked at the public hearing on the bill about the $61 billion cost of giving up No Child Left Behind, Rep. Balboni said that, out of self interest, the DOE misrepresented the realities in the Fiscal Note.  They failed to make a "complete" fiscal note.  He said,

"Sometimes a department because of their vested interest in maintaining the status quo or paying their employees or whatever - and they're opposed to the bill because it would directly affect their money flow - they will write a Fiscal Note that looks so onerous that, my goodness, the Legislature would never approve of that just because of the cost to the state....."

Chairman Balboni was then asked what the schools would do to replace that money, he said:

"So some changes might have to take place.  Just like when we as a legislature make a budget every two years.  Some programs get money, some programs don't get money.  Some programs get less money than they anticipated...they have to make changes.  

"But that's been going on in our education system since the beginning of time.  We don't still have the one room schoolhouse. .....but it's still up to the local district how much they want to spend on education.  And what do they want to spend it on.  

And if the federal government doesn't provide them that money, the local folks who decided they want that program gotta be willing to pay for it."

In introducing his bill to the committee, Representative Michael Weeden (R, Dover), the prime sponsor, said, 

"I was in 5th grade when this bill passed and I saw first hand the ineffectiveness of this bill to lay standards of education - at a high cost to the cities and towns of the state because they don't provide adequate funding for their requests."

The public hearing on both bills was held on January 17, 2012.  This link provides extended quotes and full video of the the Chairman's testimony on HB 1517.  This link provides extended quotes and full video of the public hearing testimony of Rep. Weeden and others on HB 1413.

Eleven programs affecting elementary and secondary education will be affected:

    College- & Career-Ready Students (Title I) will lose $40,546,588 per year
    Title I Rewards, $842,854
    School Turnaround Grants, $1,681,327
    Migrant Student Education, $151,919

    Neglected & Delinquent Children & Youth Education,  $445,457

    Impact Aid Basic Support Payments, $8,704

    Effective Teachers & Leaders State Grants, $10,406,322

    Assessing Achievement, $3,953,185

    Rural & Low-Income Schools Program, $1,033,380

    Small, Rural School Achievement Program, $1,398,898

    English Learner Education, $958,323

    Homeless Children and Youth Education, $180,165

    Total Federal Grant Programs, $61,607,122

The loss of the almost $4.0 million in "Assessing Achievement" funding will require that the state of New Hampshire drop out of the four state NECAP assessment program, losing that measure of student and school achievement and leaving the other three states - Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island - to split the full program cost.