Education

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."

  

Several organizations are coming together to address what they say has been an abrupt and sharp decline in basic historical knowledge among New Hampshire students.

New Hampshire Historical Society president Bill Dunlap sounded the alarm in an op-ed earlier this month, saying this knowledge deficit could have dramatic consequences for the state.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire students may soon be brushing up on their state history. A new law will require New Hampshire high school students to take one credit of history and a half credit of civics as a prerequisite for graduation.

Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a former civics teacher, sponsored the bill. He says chronic low voter turnout in the U.S. is a symptom of poor civics education.

Peter Crowley via Flickr CC

Lead tests will be required for all students entering kindergarten and pre-k in Claremont schools this fall.

The district is believed to be the first in New Hampshire to require the screenings for students.

Claremont is one of several communities where health officials recommend that all children be screened, largely because of its older housing stock. Lead paint can be poisonous to children even in tiny amounts.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Governor Chris Sonunu signed a controversial school funding bill, known as the Croydon bill, into law Thursday. 

Districts will now be allowed to use tax money to send students to private schools if there's no public option in the district. Religious schools, however, are excluded.

Last week, lawmakers in Concord signed off on a plan to provide state support for full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire. The new law will use revenue from the electronic gambling game keno to give school districts more money for full-day kindergarten.

NHPR reporter Jason Moon recently sat down with NHPR host Sally Hirsch-Dickinson to talk about what this mean for schools and town across New Hampshire. Listen to their conversation here.

www.graniteymca.org

The weather’s heating up, which means New Hampshire schools are letting out for the summer.

But for many students, especially those from low-income families, those two months away from the classroom can often lead to regression when they return in the fall.

A program in Manchester aimed at curbing that summer slide is expanding this year, with more than 100 middle school students taking part at no cost to families.

On Thursday, a proposal to spend state money on full-day kindergarten heads to a final vote.

The bill, which pays for additional state spending on kindergarten by taxing keno, is making for tough decisions on both sides of the aisle.

New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

A new report shows disparities in school funding in New Hampshire persist, two decades after a landmark lawsuit targeted the state’s education funding system.

jdurham / Morguefile

River Valley Community College, based in Claremont, is launching two new programs in computer science and information technology. The move is an attempt by the college to better tailor its offerings to the needs of local employers. 

"There are actually companies that are very, very concerned about not finding the right talent in the state," said Ali Rafieymehr, interim president and vice president of academic affairs at RVCC.

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