The SDGA is supporting a number of education bills this year, all of which enhance the public’s information about the workings of their school districts. We have submitted testimony and in some cases suggested some amendments for consideration by the NH House Education Committee. The following bills we are supporting were among those heard by the Education Committee on Jan. 13, 2022.
HB 1276 On including cost per student on budget warrants (We suggested adding proficiency scores as well.)
HB 1137 Major bill defining role of the school board (We suggested clarifying the role of school board and district budgets.)
HB 1169 On requiring public comment and response to questions in school board meetings (We suggested similar public comment provisions for those attending remotely and other minor changes.)
Our most important legislative initiative this year is HB 1393, SDGA’s bill to authorize budget caps linked to enrollment on school district budgets. This is being heard before the Municipal and County Government Committee and has not yet been scheduled.
We are also following HB 1072 which makes it a criminal offense to deny access to school facilities, documents or events to elected school district members. We are suggesting this be changed to a civil violation with a fine of $1000 for each violation, and also suggesting some qualification on documents.
Let’s not forget our budget bill push from last year being again stewarded by board member, Wayne Goertel ,with the assistance of Representative Tony Piemonte of Sandown, NH. HB 1026 requires detailed active spreadsheets be provided to a budget committee, and therefore available to the public. This has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
For those who would like to reform the default budget calculations, follow HB 1070. “This bill allows for the default budget in an official ballot town or district to be reduced by any reduction to an appropriation the governing body made in the proposed operating budget.” (The SDGA board has not yet considered this bill and so does not yet have a position on it.)
SDGA members and the public are encouraged to follow the bills we support and testify in support of them when they are scheduled for hearings in the House and Senate. You can easily follow them by clicking the provided links.
Should you wish to see the hearings on these bills, past and future, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxqjz56akoWRL_5vyaQDtvQ/videos and select the committee and date of the hearing.
Help us make a difference! Write to your representatives and ask them to support these bills.