Education

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.

NHPR File Photo

  The principal at a New Hampshire prep school who helped respond to allegations of sexual abuse against former staff and students is leaving at the end of the year.

In a letter sent to the school community on Friday, Phillips Exeter Academy Principal Lisa MacFarlane says she will be returning to the University of New Hampshire where she worked for 28 years before taking over at Exeter in 2015.

MacFarlane was hired in the midst of accusations of past sexual misconduct and the mishandling of those cases at the school.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

As part of our series “The Balance," we’re asking for your input on the costs and benefits of living in New Hampshire. One issue we’re hearing a lot about is property taxes, which provide the bulk of money for public schools. The city of Claremont has the highest property tax rate in the state. This year, some residents there are saying ‘enough is enough," and the school board is taking a hard look at its budget. It’s also raised a conversation about the role schools should play in students' lives.

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

It's been nearly five months since a racist bullying incident shocked the Oyster River School District community.

Parents and school administrators met Wednesday to talk about what's been done in response, and priorities going forward.

It was this past September when a 7-year old black student was bullied with racist language while riding the school bus home. The incident shocked many, including Oyster River Superintendent Jim Morse.

Courtesy of St. Paul's School's Website

Long before the #MeToo movement took down politicians, movie moguls and powerful media personalities, St. Paul’s School in Concord was grappling with its own history of sexual misconduct.

Casey McDermott / NHPR

Bhagirath Khatiwada is the new Cultural and Linguistic Competence Coordinator for the New Hampshire Department of Education. That means he's in charge of helping school leadership and teachers engage all students in the classroom, including children of immigrant parents.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Khatiwada, who himself immigrated to New Hampshire in 2008 from Bhutan.

Lebanon became the second New Hampshire city Wednesday to categorically say no to Keno, without putting the issue in front of voters.

State lawmakers allowed cities and towns to authorize the gambling game last year as a way to raise money for all-day kindergarten statewide. Districts are eligible for the kindergarten funding, though, whether or not they approve the game.

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would increase the level of oversight over homeschool students in the state.

Each year, homeschool students in New Hampshire are required to demonstrate their educational progress. They can do that in a lot of different ways, including with a standardized test or an evaluation by a teacher.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

Keene State College Interim President Melinda Treadwell will host a live video conference for admitted students and their parents next week.  This comes as Keene State looks to improve its enrollment numbers while navigating significant budget cuts.

Treadwell says the live chat she's planned will be a first for prospective families. “I'd rather be very direct with parents about where we are and the bright future than to wait for folks to fill in the blanks,” she said, pointing to recent news headlines.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

A school district says its business administrator has resigned over an accounting error that kept millions of dollars from going toward property tax relief.

Goffstown and New Boston school officials in a press release said that an auditor found that since 2011 more than $10 million that could have been used to reduce property taxes was overlooked.

A group of education and economic development officials are discussing how to meet New Hampshire's workforce demands.

The group met in Bedford on Wednesday at a forum on the future of the state’s workforce. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Taylor Caswell, the commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs who attended the forum.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

NHPR Staff

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin presented what he described as a compromise budget to the city’s school board Wednesday.

His plan would cut the district’s budget for the coming fiscal year, but less drastically than the board has requested.

The school board is looking to budget cuts as a mechanism to keep Claremont’s property taxes in check. The city has the highest tax rate in the state, while about one in seven Claremont residents live in poverty.

Residents packed the school board’s meeting Wednesday, speaking on both sides of the issue.

Reaching Higher NH

A new analysis of a controversial school voucher bill says it could cost the state millions of dollars over the next several years.

The bill in question would allow parents to take the state money that normally follows a child to public school, and spend it on other forms of education -- including private schools or home schooling.

State University System Chancellor Todd Leach cites several factors behind cost-cutting measures at Keene State College.

Besides declining enrollment and competition, he says there was a perception that Keene State was in fiscal trouble due to a cut in state funding in 2010.

“We can look and see the numbers drop there,” he said on The Exchange.

University of New Hampshire

Last May, the atmosphere on campus at UNH was tense.

A video showing a confrontation between students about racist stereotypes on Cinco de Mayo went viral. So did images of students wearing blackface. Swastikas and racial slurs started showing up graffitied on campus. Then, sculptures installed to show solidarity for minority students in the midst of all this were vandalized.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

Nashua schools are struggling with finding enough substitute teachers. School officials say it’s been a daily challenge for the past three years, and Nashua School District is looking at ways to address this issue.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Superintendent Jahmal Mosley about how the district plans to entice and retain more subs. 

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Courtesy

Southern New Hampshire University continues to reinvent itself. At the beginning of the decade it had 2,000 students and shaky finances. Today, it serves more than 80,000 students online and 3,000 on campus, making it one of the country's fastest-growing universities.

This week it continues that expansion with the announcement of a major infrastructure project in Manchester.

Does Competency-Based Education Make the Grade?

Nov 17, 2017
Pixabay

A decade ago, the state board of education required local districts to adopt this approach, and since then, districts have been making the switch.  We'll find out what competency-based education really means....how it's working at the classroom level....and whether it's living up to promises made. 


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.

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