State Aid To Educ...

Business and Industry Association (BIA) Senior Vice-President David Juvet wrote that it “supports legislation that adheres to our core principles for funding education in New Hampshire.

The BIA understands the importance of providing a public education to NH residents and has a vested interest in the outcomes because NH businesses are the largest contributor of real dollars to the state Education Trust Fund, (the so-called “statewide property tax” is really just a pass through).

An educated workforce is a key component of New Hampshire’s continued economic vitality, and we look to secondary and post-secondary schools to prepare the 21st century labor pool for the modern economy, according to Juvet.

Mr. Juvet goes on in this piece in the NH Sunday News laying out some thoughts and ideas on how we might proceed and what we as legislators should consider. The entire perspective can be found below in the press link.

I’ve known Dave personally and professionally for many years and I believe he speaks with credibility and authority on behalf of most of the largest businesses in NH, and I support the BIA in searching for answers to our public education needs in NH.


School Voucher Le...

House members from both parties once again defeated legislation that would harm public education and the taxpayers of New Hampshire.

“The New Hampshire Constitution very clearly prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to support the schools of any religious sect or denomination. The legislation was even worse than what the House defeated last week, as the broad eligibility in this bill would have downshifted hundreds of millions of dollars to local property taxpayers,” House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) said.

The voucher program would take a quarter-billion dollars from public school districts if enacted according to House budget estimators.

The House of Representatives voted 180-163 on May 10, 2018 to reject Senate changes to HB 1636, which included the addition of school voucher legislation the House recently voted to send for further study.


Education Savings...

Legislation which establishes taxpayer funded “education savings accounts” to subsidize tuition for New Hampshire children attending private school, has been sent to interim study.

Under SB 193, Statewide Education Property Tax dollars would have been transferred to an eligible child’s savings account upon application. The funds can then be used to subsidize the cost of homeschooling or tuition at religious or other private schools.

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff said “New Hampshire’s Constitution is crystal clear – the use of taxpayer dollars to support the schools of any religious sect or denomination is prohibited. This legislation was fatally flawed as it specifically allowed for the use of tax dollars to fund religious education.

Further, SB 193 would have slashed education funds to local communities by millions of dollars, forcing taxpayers to choose between maintaining education and increasing property taxes.”

“Our constituents did not send us here to force them to choose between educating their children and increasing taxes. New Hampshire children, New Hampshire schools, and New Hampshire taxpayers are better served by the House not passing SB 193.”


School Voucher C...

The House of Representatives voted this week to pass SB 193, legislation establishing a school voucher program allowing parents to use Education Trust Fund dollars to subsidize tuition to private schools including religious institutions. House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) said “Simply put, this bill is an unconstitutional attempt to weaken confidence in public education and reduce funding to public schools.”

“Because funding for this program will come directly from the Education Trust Fund, the total amount distributed to school districts throughout the state will be reduced. To participate in the program, parents of children with disabilities must waive their right to special education and related services.”

“This legislation was written to deliberately circumvent the New Hampshire Constitution, which clearly and distinctly prohibits the use of tax dollars for religious education. The pass-through scheme concocted by this bill is an embarrassment to the founders of this great state.”


USNH Support From...

The New Hampshire Business and Industry Association recognizes there is a serious labor shortage in New Hampshire and says it's time to support the University System of NH and its critical role in developing top-caliber talent for Granite State employers.

For the first time in decades the BIA is making increased funding for the University System and Community College System a priority budget request.

With so many students leaving our state for other institutions and the false perception that the University System is inefficient, the BIA is finally ready to help the Legislature understand the role USNH plays in educating and keeping young, talented and educated working in our state.

Our system spends less on operations and administration and has the lowest administrative costs per student than any other public university system in New England. The University System is a principle source of young talent for our employers and it supports business growth through research and business incubation.

I've consistently voted to support funding for USNH and look forward to providing that support again.

I've attached BIA Executive Director Jim Roche's comments below.


The Full-Day Kind...

When the school bell rings in September, there will not be a single new dollar of support for our children attending kindergarten under a bill signed off on by Republicans. In the following year, schools will receive only 80 percent of adequacy funds. Thereafter, full payment for kindergarten adequacy will depend upon the state’s success at keno. This represents an 11th-hour partisan departure from what Senate Bill 191 had looked like at any point during the legislative process, and this keno-for-kindergarten marriage has big problems.

The above is the opening paragraph of an opinion piece written by Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and Senators David Watters and Dan Feltes that appeared June 10 in the Concord Monitor.

On Thursday, June 22 the NH House of Representatives will vote on this latest proposal that has now run into constitutional problems.

Volinsky, Watters and Feltes continue: The 11th-hour Republican deal under consideration fails the same constitutional test because it does not pay for full-day kindergarten now and will not pay for it in the future if keno revenues are insufficient.

It's entirely possible that the new bill will fail, but I agree with the authors that if the bill fails, I will remain committed to forging a bipartisan compromise to fully fund kindergarten with a new, constitutional bill.

I agree that our schools, our taxpayers and, most importantly, our kids deserve nothing less.


Full Day Kinderga...

The House of Representatives voted 231-100 to pass SB 191, legislation that would provide additional funds to communities with full day public kindergarten programs.

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) said, “I am thrilled that the House has stepped up to support providing additional funds to communities that offer full day public kindergarten. The benefits of early childhood education, to the social and academic development of our children, are clear. This bill is a long-overdue recognition of those benefits, and a signal to working families and the business community that we understand our obligation to offer all New Hampshire children the opportunity for a high quality education. Support of full day public kindergarten is a top priority for House Democrats, and I am pleased that the Republican majority has joined us in recognizing the benefit of this investment.”

I was proud to vote in favor of this bill and what it means for our newest generation in New Hampshire. This is long overdue and our governor has stated that he will sign this when it comes to his desk.

I want to thank all the residents of Greenland who voted to support full-day kindergarten in March and now the state of NH will be supporting our efforts here.


Community College...

I attended the Friday January 20 breakfast at Great Bay Community College that included major employers who talked about the relationships they've made with New Hampshire community colleges.

Seacoast employers including Sig Sauer, Safron, Albany Composites and Exeter Health Care Systems explained their partnerships with community colleges and how important it was for these schools to help provide a workforce that is ready to go to work in a fast paced technology based world of today,

Community college Chancellor Ross Gittell cited a commitment to focusing on a student's "career and purpose" starting in high school, then carrying it forward into the community college system and then, perhaps, to the university level.

Our community colleges are an essential part of New Hampshire's educational infrastructure and are critical to attracting and keeping major employers in our state.

Attached below under the Press heading I've included the text of the Seacoast On-line report published January 21, 2017.


Funding education...

In her annual State of the State message the Governor said we need to increase the education and training of men and women. These initiatives are critical for New Hampshire’s continued and future growth because expanding businesses need a quality, educated work force.

Most employers and public policy experts tell us that a growing, qualified workforce is just as important as tax considerations and incentives when businesses consider expansion. The Seacoast and Portsmouth benefit from a diverse and educated work force and that’s a major reason why business expands here.

New Hampshire boasts the lowest unemployment rate in 15 years, a budget surplus for 2015, strong revenues for 2016, and a boost in the "rainy day" fund. But for those still struggling to find meaningful, sustained employment the 3.1 percent unemployment number brings little comfort.

To create meaningful and fulfilling jobs and move our economy forward, expanded training and educational opportunities are critical.

While the low unemployment number is a good thing it may actually slow some economic development opportunities. A focus on quality, affordable education is an investment in our citizens and a powerful incentive for enhancing New Hampshire's economic base.