Education

After a vote to break the tax cap, and then a reversal of that decision, the Franklin City Council Wednesday night finalized a school budget for the next year. But it still falls short of what the school board requested.

For children who rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year, including 50 percent of public school students in Laconia, summer vacation can mean 10 weeks of food insecurity. 

That's why 10-year-old Maia Heller is up early on her first day of summer vacation, volunteering for the Got Lunch! Laconia program. 

"It feels really good that I know they need some food and I'm helping them get it," Heller said as she packed apples, carrots, and jars of peanut butter and jelly into grocery bags. 

Google maps

 

A fifth-grade student in New Hampshire who wants to stop bullying has told her school board that she's been threatened to get shot in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle and buried in her backyard.

Delanie Marcotte, of Pollard Elementary School in Plaistow, said she's a victim of bullying. She read a letter before the board last week saying her parents contacted the school about it, but it continues. She asked the board what it would do to protect her and her classmates. Her father shared her comments on Facebook.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Administrators and state officials are again discussing safety in the classroom after another school shooting took place earlier this month. This time in Santa Fe, Texas.

Last week on Morning Edition, Rick Ganley spoke with incoming Somersworth High School Principal John Shea about his thoughts on how the state and Gov. Chris Sununu is responding to school safety issues.

KNA of Bedford

New England College and the New Hampshire Institute of Art announced today that the two institutions plan to merge later this year.

Tom Horgan is a spokesman for New England College. He says the idea is to provide students at both institutions with more academic options. Horgan says there are also opportunities to cut costs and reduce expenses.

"You know, the demographic shifts that are occurring in New England, the pipeline of students is not as strong as we would like to see," Horgan says.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin will be out of a job this summer.

In a letter to McGoodwin this week, the district’s school board notified him of its intent to terminate his contract unless he chooses to resign in the coming weeks.

The move comes after a bitter budget fight this year. The board proposed steep cuts in an effort to keep local taxes in check. McGoodwin fought that proposal, saying he'd have to lay off teachers. The cuts would ultimately damage the quality of education the district was able to offer, he said.

Keene State College has hit its enrollment goal this spring for the incoming freshman class.

That goal, more modest than in years past, reflects an overall downsizing of the college in response to regional demographic trends. 

Many schools in the northeast have been struggling to stabilize enrollment as local high school class sizes, and therefore general application pools, have shrunk. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

On a recent morning at Londonderry Senior High School, students filed into Corrine Murphy's mass media class. 

"Good morning, Ms. Murphy."

"What," she laughed, "Ms. Murphy?"

These seniors are showing off a little bit for the microphone. They usually call her something less formal, like Murph. She's friendly with her students in part because she regularly talks to them about something close to their hearts: Social media.

Two documentaries, Intelligent Lives, and a companion film about New Hampshire native Garrett Shows (forthcoming in the fall), challenge our perception of people with intellectual disabilities, which resulted in systemic segregation and limited them from participating fully in school, work and society.  We talk with those who created these films, and those whose stories, struggles and triumphs are portrayed.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

Statehouse lawmakers make decisions on a number of contentious issues, including Medicaid Expansion, education freedom accounts, voting eligibility, transgender rights, and marriage age.  The House-passed version of an animal cruelty bill conflicts with the Senate version - compromise is necessary, but is it likely?  And two more candidates enter the crowded race for Congress in the first congressional district.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate approved an expansion to the state's education tax credit program Thursday.

Under the existing program, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make a donation to scholarships that qualifying families can use for educational purposes including private school tuition and homeschooling.

A bill that would have created a school choice program in New Hampshire based on education savings accounts was voted down in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The vote on SB 193 capped off a long and winding journey for a controversial piece of legislation that was originally introduced in January of 2017.

NHPR File Photo

 

The New Hampshire House has delayed action on a bill that would ban anyone who is not a legal resident from the state's adult education programs.

Supporters say the roughly $4 million the state spends on adult workforce training programs should be reserved for people who can legally work in the United States. Opponents say the bill would hurt immigrants and refugees working toward citizenship. The bill passed the Senate in March but the House voted 233-97 on Wednesday to further study it.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill was dealt a significant setback by lawmakers in the House Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Under Senate Bill 193, some parents could use state tax dollars to educate their children outside of public school using what are known as education savings accounts. 

Franklin Pierce University is offering 20 full-tuition scholarships to students at a small private college in Massachusetts that is set to close if they enroll as full-time residential students at the New Hampshire school.

Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts, plans to close at the end of the semester. Officials announced that undergraduate students will be offered automatic admission to the University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth campus.

Britta Greene for NHPR

Students across the country and New Hampshire are planning another walkout to call attention to gun violence at schools Friday.

Students in at least a dozen New Hampshire middle and high schools have walkouts planned as part of a national event to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. 

Over the past few years, schools across the country have been opening up food pantries for students who may be struggling with food insecurity.

Here in New Hampshire, teachers at Rundlett Middle School in Concord have opened up their own. Biz Logan is one of the teachers responsible for the creation that is known as the “Blue Duke Care Closet,” named for the school’s mascot. He spoke to NHPR’s Peter Biello.

What made you decide to start this at Rundlett?

NHPR Staff

Students applying to community colleges in New Hampshire will no longer have to pay an application fee.

The Community College System of N.H. says it is eliminating the $20 fee in an effort to remove barriers for students interested in attending college.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Senate has rejected a bill that would have rolled back the requirements needed to be a school nurse.

The bill would have repealed requirements added a few years ago that school nurses have specific skills in public health and at least three years’ experience in pediatric medicine.

Some school districts have argued the added requirements have made it hard to fill school nurse positions.

National student test scores released today show New Hampshire 4th graders declining in reading and math scores since 2015.

The new scores in reading and math for 4th and 8th graders come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

The report shows scores for the state’s 8th graders in reading and math were unchanged.

New Hampshire students in both grades scored above the national average.

Over the long term New Hampshire's scores are up, particularly in math.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

New Hampshire is seeking more flexibility in how it assesses student performance.

The state has applied to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority, which would allow different assessment approaches to be used in some school districts rather than having all students complete statewide standardized tests.

New Hampshire already has taken steps toward changing its assessment approach.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senators heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would expand the state’s only existing school choice program.

Under the existing system, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make donations to scholarships which can be used on a number of educational purposes, including private school tuition, college courses, and homeschool expenses.

A new national study finds high school graduation requirements in New Hampshire don’t align with criteria for college admissions.

The research from the Center for American Progress finds that in many states, including New Hampshire, there’s a gap between what is required to graduate from high school and what is required to start at the local public university.

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

More than 50 teachers and support staff at the Timberlane School District are in danger of losing their jobs due to funding.

 

The problem, school administrators say, is that because a higher proposed budget failed with voters, an almost $72 million default budget will go into effect. And that default budget doesn’t allow staffing numbers to stay where they are.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers in the House held a hearing today for a bill that would restrict access to adult education programs in the state. Senate Bill 525 narrowly cleared the Senate.

 

A crowd of dozens showed up in opposition to the bill and a larger hearing room was needed to accommodate them.

 

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Students across the country are marking one month since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting left 17 dead. Today, more than a thousand Concord High students stood outside at 10 a.m., the morning after a snowstorm hit the northeast. It was still snowing lightly as students held 17 minutes of silence to commemorate the 17 killed in Parkland and read the names of those lost.

 

Senior Jonathan Weinberg was one of the organizers. He says they purposely chose to hold 17 minutes of silence instead of a focusing on a walkout.

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

On Town Meeting day tomorrow, several communities across New Hampshire will vote on whether to offer full-day kindergarten in their local school districts.

It will be the first time towns vote on the issue since lawmakers in Concord approved a program that provides state money for full-day kindergarten.


Flikr Creative Commons/ evmaiden

For over a year now, education policy watchers in Concord have focused their attention on a controversial bill that would create Education Savings Accounts.

But meanwhile, another bill popular with the school choice proponents has been making its way through the legislature, largely unnoticed.

Reuters

The National Education Association New Hampshire has formed a coalition to look at school gun violence.

 

The union of educators, which has 17,000 members, says the coalition will be made up of educators, first responders, and mental health experts. The plan is to also have input on possible changes to legislation.

 

How School Shootings Are Changing Education

Feb 23, 2018

We look at how school shootings is impacting students, teachers, and school communities, after the shooting in Parkland, FL.

Pages