Education

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill cleared a major hurdle in the State House Tuesday, receiving a positive recommendation from the House Education Committee on Tuesday by a 10-9 vote.

The bill would allow parents of some children to spend tax dollars to educate their children with non-public school options like private school or home school. But the bill looks considerably different than when it was originally introduced several months ago.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill that would allow New Hampshire parents to use state funding to send their children to private schools faces a key vote Tuesday.

The House Education Committee will vote on the controversial bill that’s been the subject of debate among lawmakers and school reform advocates.

NHPR File

Don't expect school bus passengers in New Hampshire to be required to buckle up anytime soon.

A committee of state lawmakers studying a school bus seat belt requirement is not recommending any such legislation. The committee was formed in compliance with a House Bill that was signed into law in April.

“There’s just not a lot of data to support that an effort this massive is really going to help,” says Rep. Steven Smith, the committee's chairman.

File photo

Fall Mountain Regional School District Superintendent Lori Landry will meet with community members Thursday night about a controversial plan to allow marksmanship practices in the local high school cafeteria.

The Fall Mountain Regional School Board approved an exemption to its weapons policy earlier this fall to allow the Army JROTC program to bring in air rifles for the practices subject to certain safety precautions -- things like closed blinds, locked doors and secured entry.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

Debate about a controversial school voucher bill is again heating up.

The bill would create a type of universal school voucher system in the state, where parents could take their children out of public school and then spend the tax dollars that would’ve gone to that public school on other educational purposes. Things like private school tuition or home school supplies.

Standardized tests scores for New Hampshire students are down slightly from last year.

According to the results for the Smarter Balanced tests released today, there was a 3 percent drop in the number of students in grades 3 - 8 proficient in English Language Arts compared to last year. In math, there was 2 percent drop.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire 11th graders taking the SAT showed a slight improvement in math scores.

Ryan Johnson / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education says it has received an overwhelming number of applications for a new robotics grant program.

The department says nearly 100 schools have applied for the newly created New Hampshire Robotics Fund, which gives schools a financial boost to launch robotics teams.

Shannon McCracken teaches science, technology, and art at Farmington High School. She says the grant would offer new opportunities for her students.

Credit Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

New Hampshire schools and communities have been doing some serious soul searching after reports of racist incidents in which children were allegedly harassed verbally and physically, resulting in neck injuries for one boy.

Right now, many are in response mode.

What are the best strategies in school settings for addressing racial tension or preventing it from happening in the first place? 


www.visitnhcolleges.com

The former president of Keene State College, Anne Huot, received a severance payout of more than $300,000 after stepping down earlier this year.

The University System of New Hampshire said Huot would take a year of unpaid leave when it announced her resignation in June. But she received a $327,225 severance payment following her resignation.

The college has recently struggled to contain its deficit. Officials say low enrollment is largely to blame. Todd Leach, chancellor of the state university system, was unavailable Thursday to comment on the severance agreement.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Earlier this summer, a performance audit carried out by state regulators identified 29 areas of concern in how the Community College System of New Hampshire manages its financial, budgeting and reporting processes.

Those concerns ranged from how the seven schools in the system calculate severance packages, to management of vehicles and the transfer of student credits.

A new report shows New Hampshire has made big strides in connecting public schools to broadband Internet. But there are some districts in the state who lack access.

NHPR File

The Nashua Teachers’ Union says teachers might cut back on their responsibilities if the Board of Education doesn’t come to a contract agreement this week.

Teachers started the new school year without a contract. Union president Adam Marcoux says the board has been mostly quiet since mid-June.

Marcoux says teachers may cut back on student field trips, writing recommendation letters or advising organizations without being paid.

Those steps would come Sept. 18. That is, if there is no tentative agreement reached at the next negotiation session.

Geoff Forester | Concord Monitor

At Epsom Central School, a mural map of the United States features a small confederate flag planted on the southeastern states.

Tuesday night, the Epsom School Board voted 3-2 to defeat a motion to remove or alter the mural to remove that flag. It's a debate that had echoes of the unrest surrounding Confederate monuments in other parts of the country.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Students are returning to schools across New Hampshire this morning after the long holiday weekend.

For many families, this marks the second or even third week of school, with most communities starting the school year before Labor Day.

Governor Chris Sununu says he wants to see that change.

Jason Moon - NHPR

Schools in Portsmouth started a bit later this week—at 8:20 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. The idea is that if kids are allowed to sleep later, they’ll be better prepared to learn once they get to school. Schools in the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee as well as the Inter-Lakes School District in the Laconia area also are starting late this year.

Steve Zadravec is superintendent of Portsmouth's schools. He’s been a supporter of these later start times. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

The events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month sparked a national dialogue about racial tensions in America.

It’s a conversation that's continuing in classrooms across the state, as another school year gets underway.

We asked four New Hampshire teachers how they’re planning to incorporate discussions about the violence that occurred in Charlottesville into their classrooms. We asked them to record themselves and send in their thoughts; here’s what we heard:

James Gaj, Nashua High School South

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

It’s been just over two weeks since a group of white nationalists and neo-Nazis - including a man from Keene - marched with torches across the University of Virginia campus.

A 20-year-old woman was killed when a man drove his car into a group of counter protesters.

Now, as the school year gets underway this week, teachers in cities and towns across New Hampshire are preparing to talk with students about what happened in Charlottesville.

Jason Moon for NHPR

School districts across New Hampshire have been grappling with a shortage of school bus drivers.

Nowhere has that situation become more dire than in Northwood, where officials have been forced to delay the start of the school year and to push back the start of the school day by two hours.

That’s causing big problems for parents.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Civil rights groups are filing a formal right-to-know request with the Manchester school district.

Speaking from the steps of city hall, Manchester NAACP president Eric Jackson said the school district hasn’t been transparent enough about its efforts to address racial inequities.

Peter Biello for NHPR

Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut is facing fresh criticism about engaging in political activity while in office.

Edelblut is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a so-called Right of Center Meeting next month.

NHPR

Before the new school year, we hear from several teachers from across the state, who work in different grade levels, about their hopes, concerns and goals for the upcoming year, from teaching the fundamentals to mandated testing, to creating a positive classroom climate. 


Educating The Educators On Childhood Trauma

Aug 15, 2017
Us Census Bureau

As the opioid crisis continues to rupture families, the emotional impact on children is widespread. In some school districts, mental health experts are training teachers, school nurses, and administrators to better manage the trauma faced by students, in order to help them cope and learn.


Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

A legislative committee is seeking public input about the quality and overall value of New Hampshire's higher education system.

The Public Higher Education Study Committee is trying to determine whether students leave school with critical thinking skills, personal and professional development and the ability to repay student loan debt. Republican state Sen. John Reagan, the committee's chairman, says the panel is looking for individual stories that illustrate the quality of the education students receive in New Hampshire.

DTLAexplorer

The New Hampshire job market is expected to keep growing at a modest clip, according to projections released by the New Hampshire Employment Security agency. 

In the next two years, the agency predicts the service industry, healthcare, and administrative jobs will account for much of the growth.

Courtesy of SNHU

Two years ago, Southern New Hampshire University began a new program, offering college degrees to refugees in Rwanda. Now, after graduating its first class last month, the school is expanding the program from one refugee camp to five.

Eddie Cheuk

New Hampshire's Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recently announced a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations at St. Paul's School, in Concord. We discussed recent local stories involving private schools such as St. Paul's, as well as the broader culture in elite boarding schools that may contribute to this issue.  And we talked with a N.H. lawmaker who says she'll be working on changing laws to better protect victims of sexual violence.  


Tracy Lee Carroll; NHPR

We're talking with the three candidates who want to be the next state senator from District 16. The issues they're talking about impact all of the Granite State, including public education, child protection, taxes, and workforce development. 


Amanda Loder, StateImpact New Hampshire

Laurie Laizure of Manchester likes to think she’s the kind of parent who’s engaged in what’s happening at her kids' schools.

Which is why she was so surprised to learn, when scrolling through Facebook last month, about a sexual assault that took place at Manchester West High School. In 2015, a 14-year-old student — a classmate of Laizure's daughter — was raped by an older student in a secluded hallway during school hours.

NHPR

In the nearly 20 years since  state the Supreme Court issued its landmark Claremont II decision calling for equal access to an adequate education, significant disparities among communities persist, according to a recent report by the N.H. Center for Public Policy Studies.

Claremont School District v Governor of New Hampshire led to the allocation of additional state money for communities in need, yet these districts still lack sufficient funds from local resources such as property taxes. 

Paying for Public Schools

Jul 12, 2017
NHPR

Almost twenty years after a court ruling that was supposed to radically alter education funding, a new report says not much has changed. And, it says, poor and rural towns could be in for a bigger hit in terms of state dollars in the near future. We'll find out more, including what the report calls a "new education normal."

  

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