Education

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted against a bill to create education savings accounts. 

The bill that would have allowed for state tax dollars to be spent on private school tuition and homeschooling expenses had already been shot down by the House on two separate occasions. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A late-night parliamentary maneuver has given a controversial school choice bill another shot at becoming law.

Senate Bill 193, which would allow some parents to use state money to educate their children outside of public schools, was rejected by the New Hampshire House on Wednesday.

Mike Ross / UNH

Officials at the University of New Hampshire are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s racially charged Cinco de Mayo celebrations with a new community service event this Saturday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would expand the state’s only school choice program is one step closer to becoming law.

Under the existing education tax credit program, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they donate to scholarships.

Families who qualify for those scholarships can use them for things like private school tuition, college courses, and homeschooling expenses.

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.

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A UNH task force on campus climate has released its final report roughly a year after a series of racially charged incidents embroiled the campus.

The task force makes fifteen recommendations in the report, including one to make the group permanent as an advisory council to the UNH president.

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.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The chairman of the Governor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion is raising questions about the announcement of UNH’s new president, James Dean.

Rogers Johnson, who is also president of the Seacoast NAACP, has called for more transparency in the search process.

Now he says the unveiling of UNH’s choice for president seems to emphasize his ability to raise revenue for the institution.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers are continuing in their attempt to hammer out the details of a controversial school choice bill that was first introduced over 14 months ago.

Senate Bill 193 received yet another set of tweaks on Wednesday. 

UNH

The University of New Hampshire has named James W. Dean Jr. as the 20th President of the state's flagship university.

Dean was recently executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he is a professor of organizational behavior. He will take office June 30, and succeed Mark Huddleston.

The University System of New Hampshire board of trustees voted unanimously to select Dean. 

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.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Superintendents, school board members, teachers, and parents held a press conference Thursday morning to voice their concerns about a bill that would create "education freedom savings accounts."

The bill, known as Senate Bill 193, would allow parents to use public money to educate their kids outside of public schools, including at home or at private schools.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5p1N5a

All thirteen of New Hampshire’s cities now offer full-day kindergarten. On Monday night, Concord became the final city to join the list.

The Concord school board has been debating full-day kindergarten for years. The election of new board members, along with new funding from the state, finally tipped the scales.

Board member Chuck Crush says he’s excited for what a full-day program will mean for kids and for economic development in the city.

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.


The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Tuesday to kill a bill that would have increased oversight for homeschool students.

House bill 1263 would have required that homeschool students have their annual assessments reviewed by either state officials or nonpublic school principals.

Currently, parents of homeschool students don’t have to share the results of the assessments with anybody.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The University of New Hampshire announced last week it has selected finalists in its search for a new president, but the list of candidates will be kept private.

This has prompted leaders of the Seacoast NAACP and the ACLU of New Hampshire to demand more transparency in the search for a new president. But confidential searches have now become common among universities across the country.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Eric Kelderman, a senior reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, about the growing trend.


The Manchester School District says a student was arrested last Friday for making threats on social media about school shootings.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says despite the arrest there was no immediate threat to any students in the district.

This is the third arrest made in connection to school threats in New Hampshire following the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school last month.

Via Concord High School website

Students across the U.S. and around the Granite State are planning school walkouts calling for stronger gun control and school safety reform. This follows a national movement led by students of a high school in Parkland, Florida where a mass shooting took place last month.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Concord High School Principal Tom Sica about how he's working with his students who are organizing a walkout.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office announced it was filing charges against a former teacher at St. Paul’s School in Concord for witness tampering and conspiracy to commit perjury. They are the first charges to be filed in connection with the AG’s investigation into the elite prep school over allegations of sexual misconduct over several decades.

NHPR's Jason Moon has been following the story and has this breakdown of what the charges are, and what they tell us about the broader investigation into St. Paul's School.

The leaders of eight elite prep schools across New England are calling on lawmakers to take meaningful action to make schools safer.

In a joint statement, the schools, which include St. Paul’s and Phillips Exeter, say they stand in solidarity with the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, in calling for legislative and regulatory actions to protect students.

St. Paul’s Rector Michael Hirschfeld says the schools were moved to speak out because of the activism of their students.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Town officials in Epping held a school safety forum at the local high school last night. The meeting came just a day after a juvenile was arrested in relation to a threat made at the school.

The meeting drew a strong crowd of parents, teachers, and students. They heard from school administrators and local police, like Police Chief Michael Wallace, about the security precautions already in place.

“Every incident is different, but we like to feel that we have at least taken the steps necessary to ensure the safety of kids – that is first and foremost.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

After the latest mass shooting at a school in Florida, there's one idea most policy makers seem to agree on: If you see something, say something. But as NHPR's Jason Moon reports, school officials and parents in one New Hampshire town are finding that's a lot more complicated than it might seem.

NHPR Staff

Voters approved an additional $307,153 to the proposed budget for Claremont schools Thursday night.

The amendment will offset a large part of cuts made to the proposed budget in January. Now the operating budget for the schools will be cut by only $22,000 compared to almost $340,000.

The budget will now go to the annual school district vote in March.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Stevens High School Principal Pat Barry who attended the deliberative session.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Executive Council voted today to give Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut a raise.

Edelblut's salary will increase from $93,759 a year to $99,928 a year.

Edelblut was confirmed as commissioner one year ago. The Department of Education requested the raise.

The vote came without discussion and fell along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Dozens of parents, and their children, came to the State House Thursday to oppose a bill that would increase oversight for homeschoolers.

New Hampshire’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act has been approved by the federal government.

The Every Student Succeeds Act is the federal law that replaced No Child Left Behind in 2015.

ESSA gives states more flexibility to define their own goals and add their own metrics beyond standardized testing.

New Hampshire’s plan, developed by the state Department of Education under Commissioner Frank Edelblut, looks to take advantage of that flexibility.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Some schools around the state will soon be getting security upgrades as lawmakers Friday approved about $10 million in grants for school safety projects.

The money comes from a surplus in last year’s state budget. It will pay for 170 different projects at schools around the state. Most are security upgrades, like improved locks, alarm systems, or surveillance cameras.

Governor Chris Sununu urged lawmakers to approve the funds at a hearing Friday morning.

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