House GOP Responds to Public Pressure, Postpones Reckless Bills

Concord, NH – New Hampshire House Republicans vainly tried not to take a position on a pair of anti-education bills in the State House today after legislators received a flood of phone calls and emails from concerned taxpayers across the state urging them to defeat the irresponsible proposals.

HB1713 and HB1517 would force New Hampshire to withdraw from the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind program and prevent all New Hampshire school districts from implementing any part of the program.  These bills would slash more than 62 million dollars from the state’s public schools, devastating local education budgets and increasing the burden on local taxpayers. [Nashua Telegraph, 02/07/2012]

“These bills were reckless and irresponsible and unfortunately rather than defeat them outright, House Republicans tried to avoid going on the record,” said Representative Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader.  “These bills would make devastating cuts to public education in New Hampshire; they put ideology before common sense and should have been killed in committee.

“Unfortunately this has been the story at the State House for the past twelve months.  Bills that would be laughed out of any living room or board room in New Hampshire, have strong support in the State House,” continued Norelli. “As happened with HB474, the Right-to-Work-for-Less bill, Speaker O’Brien is postponing the final vote on a controversial bill until he thinks no one is looking and he can continue to force his agenda on New Hampshire.”

Larger communities across the state would lose more than one million dollars, just from the elimination of Title I funding if the bills were passed.  But Title I funding comprises only about 2/3rds of the No Child Left Behind, and larger cuts would be expected.  Local school officials have called the proposed cuts “devastating.” [Nashua Telegraph, 02/07/2012]