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NH Passes Full Day Kindergarten, Sort Of

Yesterday, the Senate passed SB 191 also known as “Keno-garten” to partially fund full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire.

The bill would pay a portion of the costs ($1,100 of the $1,800 per pupil) to expand half-day kindergarten to full day with revenue generated through the state’s new Keno lottery.  There are no guarantees that Keno revenue will be enough to fund the program in the coming years and the bill still does not require all NH schools to expand kindergarten to a full day program.

The National Education Association of NH, representing thousands of educators across the state, explained the dilemma over SB 191 in their open letter urging legislators to support SB191.

“To be clear, SB 191 as amended by the Committee of Conference, is not perfect. NEA-New Hampshire has always, and will always continue, to advocate that full day kindergarten be funded in full in the same manner as all other grades. However, NEA-NH also recognizes sometimes you have to compromise in the process of getting to your ultimate goal.

SB 191 is just such a compromise. Yes, it does not guarantee full funding of kindergarten, and yes, the funding mechanism is not necessarily the one I would have chosen. But it is also the largest step New Hampshire has ever taken toward fully funding full day kindergarten that has occurred since I began teaching 18 years ago.

…New Hampshire’s current method of kindergarten funding puts an enormous burden on the 70% of New Hampshire municipalities (covering 80% of New Hampshire’s students) that have voluntarily elected to offer full day kindergarten. SB 191 will provide significant tax relief to those towns, and hopefully, encourage the remaining cities and towns to adopt full day kindergarten as well.

NEA-New Hampshire believes that all school districts should offer full day kindergarten. While passage of SB 191 does not accomplish that goal, it certainly puts New Hampshire much, much closer to reaching it than we ever have before.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn is disappointed that Republicans refused to adopt a fully funded, full day kindergarten program and vows to continue to push for a fully funded, mandatory full day kindergarten program.

“Senate Democrats have been leading advocates for Kindergarten, and for fully funding full-day Kindergarten, for many years — we know this issue well and we know what this means for our communities. Passing full funding for full-day Kindergarten should have been an easy task. Governor Sununu promised to support it during his campaign and full funding for full-day Kindergarten passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.”

“It’s disappointing that in the final hour, Governor Sununu and Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by removing full-day Kindergarten from the budget, abandoning full funding, and choosing to push a half-measure tied to Keno. Make no mistake, SB 191 does not fully fund full-day Kindergarten. But, Democrats will continue to lead the fight for full funding for full-day Kindergarten with no strings attached.”

NH Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley highlighted that newly elected Governor Chris Sununu campaigned heavily on expanding kindergarten and has “broken a key campaign promise.”

“The governor broke a key campaign promise today. Instead of the fully-funded full day kindergarten he pledged on the campaign trail, he offered a half-measure and turned a blind eye while Republicans gutted even that. Because of Sununu’s abject failure to lead, Democrats were forced to pick up the pieces and salvage what was left for the sake of our kids. Governor Sununu and the Republicans always seem to make common sense a complicated calculus. While Democratic leaders would simply pass fully-funded full day kindergarten, Republicans need to cut it in half, tie it to gambling measures, and beg their members to vote yes. Real reform requires real champions, and Republicans are anything but.”

After the bill passed NEA-New Hampshire praised its passage.

“NEA-New Hampshire applauds the passage of SB 191, and thanks Governor Sununu and the bi-partisan coalition of legislators for finally putting New Hampshire on the path to full day kindergarten,” said Megan Tuttle, President of NEA-NH. “The benefits of full-day kindergarten are clear. Those students that attend full-day kindergarten are better prepared to enter first grade, have a higher high school graduation rate and are more likely to go to college. Full day kindergarten is a sound educational investment and I am thrilled that the legislators in Concord have recognized that.”

Now that the bill has passed questions still remain about the constitutionality of the legislation.  Andru Volinsky, Executive Councilor, and the lead lawyer in the Claremont education funding case of 1997, told WMUR last week that the bill is unconstitutional.

… Senate Bill 191 fails to meet the standard set out in the landmark 1997 New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in the Claremont school funding case requiring the state to provide and fund a constitutionally adequate education to all students.

….The Claremont ruling did not specifically refer to kindergarten, but it did say that the state’s system of funding “elementary and secondary public education” at the time, almost entirely through property taxes, was unconstitutional.

“Full-day kindergarten is part of a constitutionally adequate education,” Volinsky said Friday. “And once you understand that concept, you understand that the state must pay for constitutional adequacy.”

Volinsky also said, by failing to fully fund, full day kindergarten local school districts who choose to expand kindergarten will be putting even more “burden on local taxpayers”.

For those that have already chosen to expand kindergarten programs, this bill is a step in the right direction but it does not go as far as it should. This bill will help the 70% of school districts that already offer full day kindergarten.

NEA-New Hampshire Recommends Kevin Cavanaugh for Senate District 16 Special Election

Members of the NEA-NH Executive Board with their recommended candidate for the District 16 Senate Special Election, Kevin Cavanaugh.

 

CONCORD – Today, after a unanimous Executive Board vote, NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of working families advocate and community leader Kevin Cavanaugh for Senate District 16 in the upcoming special election.

“As a father who proudly sent all three of my kids to New Hampshire public schools and graduated from Manchester public school myself, I’m honored to earn the recommendation of NEA-NH. Its important to me that our kids get a top-notch education so they can reach their fullest potential,” said Kevin Cavanaugh. “Schools are the foundation of our community, which is why it’s critical that educators are supported and empowered to keep inspiring our children to think big.”

“We are excited to support Kevin Cavanaugh, because he knows that growing New Hampshire’s economy starts with having a public education that makes young families want to stay to ensure their kids can get a good education,” said NEA-NH President Megan Tuttle. “This race is particularly important to us because of our history with Scott McGilvray and we’re confident that Kevin will make kids a priority, just like Scott always did. Like Scott, Kevin will be a fresh face in the Senate, with new ideas, willing to work with everyone to move New Hampshire forward. ”

NEA-New Hampshire represents 17,000 Granite State educators, including over 550 members in Senate District 16, which includes the towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2, and 12 in the city of Manchester.

A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.


NEA-New Hampshire is the largest union of public employees in the state. Founded in 1854, the New Hampshire State Teachers Association became one of the “founding ten” state education associations that formed the National Education Association in 1857. Known today as NEA-NH, and comprised of more than 17,000 members, our mission to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees, and to promote lifelong learning, remains true after more than 150 years. Our members are public school employees in all stages of their careers, including classroom teachers and other certified professionals, staff and instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support personnel and those retired from the profession.

UNH Spends Almost $200K To Block Union Organizing Efforts

University reports close to $200,000.00 in payments to law firm to prevent employees from exercising legal right to organize.

CONCORD, April 12, 2017 – The University of New Hampshire has finally provided a partial response to Representative Cushing’s Right to Know request. Earlier this year, Rep. Cushing sent two Right to Know requests to the University seeking, among other things, the names of any outside vendors advising management on anti-union efforts, the amounts paid to these organizations, and copies of communications with these organizations.

In their partial response, the University reported spending $193,565.13 on legal fees and expenses with Jackson Lewis Law Firm from June 2016 to March 2017.

“I’m shocked to find that UNH has spent a couple hundred thousand dollars to hire outside help to fight university employees who simply want to exercise their legal right to collectively bargain,” said Representative Cushing.

“We can assume that there will be additional payments made to Jackson Lewis as the University continues to fight their employees’ efforts to organize,” stated Megan Tuttle, NEA-New Hampshire President. “Is this really the best use of the University’s funds?”

The University noted in their response that “this expense is not being paid from any of the following: state appropriation, tuition dollars or operating funds.”

“Regardless of where the money is coming from, at this point the University has chosen to spend close to $200,000.00 on things other than tuition reduction, campus improvements, or to help make the salaries and benefits of the dedicated OS and PAT staff more competitive,” continued Tuttle.

In addition to asking for information regarding management’s anti-organizing efforts, Rep. Cushing’s request also sought information regarding the University’s outsourcing plans.

“We are aware that the University has hired consultants to find ways to save money.  Far too often, these savings are balanced on the backs of OS and PAT employees,” said Tuttle.

The University declined to provide any information on these topics.

State Representative Cushing stated that he will be looking to take further action to determine the actual source of the funds used to pay Jackson Lewis, and to address the lack of disclosure with the rest of his request for public information.

“I don’t see union busting as a line item anywhere in their budget,” stated Cushing.

A copy of Rep. Cushing’s Right to Know request is available here and below.

RepCushing Right To Know

Right To Work Goes Down In The NH House, New Hampshire Labor Rejoices

To the great “disappointment” of Governor Sununu, SB 11, the so-called “Right to Work” for less bill, goes down in flames.  By a bi-partisan vote of 200 to 177 the members of the NH House voted to kill the bill.  “I am deeply disappointed today by the House’s failure to pass Right to Work,” stated Governor Chris Sununu.

“Today’s vote was a confirmation of what we determined in the House Labor Committee, where Democrats and Republicans worked together to recommend defeat of so-called ‘right to work,’” said Representative Doug Ley (D-Jaffrey), the Ranking Democrat on the House Labor Committee. “With a strong economy and the lowest unemployment rate in America, legislation that reduces wages and interferes with the employer/employee relationship is the last thing our state needs.  I am very pleased that the full House agreed with the bipartisan Labor Committee recommendation, and that we can finally put this issue behind us.”

“Today a bi-partisan majority confirmed that ‘Right to Work’ is still wrong for New Hampshire, and this vote should be the final nail in the coffin,” said NH AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett. “Across the Granite State, working people stood together against this corporate-backed legislation that would cripple our ability to speak up on job. We thank the legislators who let workers’ voices rise above special interests’.” 

AFT-NH, that represents 4,000 teachers, school support staff, city and town employees, police officers, library employees, and higher education faculty, was “extremely pleased” with Right to Work’s defeat.

“We are extremely pleased that the NH House defeated Right to Work by a 200-177 vote today,” said Doug Ley, President of AFT-NH. “The defeat of this bill was the result of cooperation across party lines and hard work by our members, fellow union brothers and sisters in the labor movement and community allies. The actions by the NH House today puts to bed this divisive legislation for at least another 2 years. We thank legislators who stood with working families.”

NEA-NH, the state’s largest public employee union, representing over 17,000 members, praised the vote.

“Educators’ working conditions are our child’s learning conditions,” said Megan Tuttle acting NEA-NH President. “By weakening the ability of educators to advocate for students, kids across New Hampshire stood to lose things like smaller class sizes, safe classrooms and drinking water, up-to-date resources, and expanded curriculum choices. Our ability to advocate for every public-school student was preserved today.”

“When out-of-state interests with pre-written legislation and lots of money try to set legislative priorities in New Hampshire, kids lose. Today’s vote prevented that from happening.”

“The 17,000 members of NEA-New Hampshire extend our thanks to those voting against SB11 today, especially those members who stood strong against the pressure applied by the majority leadership on this issue. Their resolve helped ensure that kids and educators across the state will continue to have a strong voice,” concluded Tuttle. 

Richard Gulla, President of the NH State Employees Association was “proud” of the legislators who stood with working families.

“Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted SB 11 Inexpedient to Legislate. We are proud of the legislators for standing with Granite State workers today and putting the so-called Right to Work bill behind us, where it belongs. The New Hampshire House recognized that there was no constituency supporting this legislation and proved out-of-state special interests have no place in our politics. It took courage to stand against the constant stream of pressure from outside funding – and Granite State families can now celebrate this accomplishment.”

“We are incredibly grateful to our elected officials for continuing to stand up for what is important. We look forward to working with Governor Sununu and the legislature to continue helping New Hampshire families,” Gulla added. 

Democrats also rejoiced as Sununu’s highest priority piece of legislation was defeated.

“New Hampshire proved once again that it’s a friend to workers’ rights. Despite Governor Sununu and NHGOP Chair Forrester’s brazen attempts, Republicans and Democrats in the State House stood together and made clear that this issue is above partisan politics,” said NHDP Chairman Ray Buckey. 

“Today’s defeat of the so-called Right to Work for Less legislation is a great victory for New Hampshire’s working families,” said Jeff Woodburn, NH Senate Minority Leader.  “Right to Work for Less makes it harder for people to earn a living, harder for people to make ends meet, and harder for people to support a family. I congratulate the bipartisan coalition in the House that recognized the damage it would have caused and came together to defeat this harmful legislation.”

Democracy Fails As Executive Councilors Vote To Confirm Edelblut, Against Constituents Overwhelming Objections

Today our elected representatives have failed us and took another step toward the destruction of our democracy.

With a party line vote of 3-2, the NH Executive Council voted to confirm, the completely unqualified Frank Edelblut, as Commissioner of Education against the wishes of their own constituents.

“Republicans on the Executive Council let down Granite State students and young families today by confirming Frank Edelblut, despite overwhelming grassroots opposition, a vote of no confidence by the State Board of Education, and a remarkably unqualified resume for this important position,” said Granite State teacher Matthew Gerding.

“As a school teacher and a young LGBT Granite Stater hoping to raise my family here, I find it incredibly disheartening to see Republican leaders chose to confirm someone who opposes full-day kindergarten, refuses to oppose the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, and calls education a ‘product’ not a public good.”

“Governor Sununu has taken every opportunity in his short time in office to turn young people away from our state. From nominating Mr. Edelblut, to raising tuitions at our state and community colleges in his budget, Governor Sununu is sending a clear message that he values politics over people,” concluded Gerding.

“Like DeVos, Edelblut has no experience or inter­action with the public education system of New Hampshire. Overseeing a state department of education requires an in-depth knowl­edge of how public schools are governed, how they are man­aged, and the challenges employees in public schools face. Mr. Edelblut possesses no such knowledge or experience. Other than overseeing the management functions of the employees under his direct supervision, the business skills Mr. Edelblut possess are not transferable to ensuring our children’s educational experi­ence is exceptional. Our chil­dren’s futures are too important to rely on someone who cannot hit the ground running on day one,” stated NEA-New Hampshire.

“Educators throughout New Hampshire strive to reach every child in their classroom, develop effective and engaging lesson plans, spend hours correcting papers and encouraging students to keep persevering. Every day for educators the theory and practice of pedagogy becomes real in the lives of the young people entrusted to their care. To have the highest ranking education official in the state bring only system level management and communication skills to the job threatens the future of every public school student in New Hampshire,” continued NEA-NH.

“The fundamental promise of a great public education for all students is under attack here, and across the country,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH Vice-president. “We’re not just arguing over budget questions any longer; we’re in a full-on ideolog­ical battle with people who do not believe that every child deserves the same opportunity to succeed.”

“We are disappointed that a majority of the Executive Council did not listen to voices of thousands of parents and educators across the state or to the concerns expressed by the NH Board of Education about the appointment of Frank Edelblut as our next Commissioner of Education,” stated Doug Ley, President of AFT-NH. “We remain gravely concerned about a Commissioner of Education who, when running for governor, supported further diverting much needed funding and resources from our public schools.   There still has been presented no evidence, after a lengthy public hearing, to suggest Mr. Edelblut either has the experience or qualifications in education to lead NH schools and serve more than 180,000 students, our State’s most precious resource.”

“Our teachers and school district employees pour their hearts into the education of NH’s students, are highly trained and have dedicated a lifetime to serving NH students. They deserve a Commissioner who cares deeply about public education.”

“AFT-NH will remain vigilant in protecting our public schools and our cherished public education system in NH. We will always extend a hand to anyone, including Mr. Edelblut, willing to strengthen and support public schools but we will speak up and act in fierce opposition to any extreme agenda or attack on our schools. We sincerely hope that Mr. Edelblut will retreat from his past positions and start anew by listening to NH parents, educators and stakeholders in our schools,” concluded Ley.

“During the confirmation process, Frank Edelblut demonstrated he lacks both experience with and support for our state’s public schools,” wrote Executive Councilor Chris Pappas just after the vote. “It is clear that Mr. Edelblut is unable to be the type of non-partisan, consensus-building commissioner that our education system deserves. He holds political views on a range of issues that place him outside the mainstream, from his opposition to full-day kindergarten to support for gay conversion therapy. We do not need a commissioner who will interject ideology into the role, and I didn’t receive assurances that he would abandon past positions or steer clear of political activities after he is confirmed.”

It is plainly clear that the confirmation vote for Edelblut was purely partisan politics as usual. Two of the Executive Councilors openly admitted that they would vote to confirm despite overwhelming opposition to Edelblut’s nomination.

“Executive Councilors Joseph Kenney and Russell Prescott told us all about the concerns they heard from parents and educators about Frank Edelblut. Instead of listening to their constituents, they decided to put in earplugs and vote to confirm him in a blindly political move,” said NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley. “It’s shameful that Governor Sununu didn’t consult the Board of Education before he made the pick. Instead, he followed the Trump model by appointing an unqualified businessman rather than looking out for the future of New Hampshire.”

“We are disappointed that Executive Councilors Russ Prescott, Joe Kenney, and David Wheeler decided to rubber stamp Governor Sununu’s blatantly unqualified nominee despite widespread opposition from the State Board of Education and their constituents,” stated Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “Councilors Kenney and Prescott specifically mentioned that their constituents were overwhelming in opposition to Frank Edelblut before going on to say that they would vote for him anyway.

“Community members should be on notice that Prescott and Kenney fully acknowledged that they were voting against their constituents on this nomination,” Rice-Hawkins added.

It is obscene that our elected representatives are completely ignoring the will of the people in a partisan political vote. It takes a lot to get people to engage in politics, especially when it comes to political appointments like this. Yet hundreds if not thousands of Granite Staters took the time to write letters, emails, and call their Executive Councilors asking them to oppose Edelblut’s nomination.

To Councilors Prescott and Kenney, those constituents do not matter.

This is where democracy dies. When our elected leaders only do what is good for their political careers and reject the will of the people we can no longer say we live in a democracy. The people spoke out and overwhelmingly opposed Frank Edelblut’s nomination, yet they confirmed him anyway.

This is a sad day for the future of our public schools and our democracy.


I would like to join Granite State Progress in saying:

“We thank Councilors Andru Volinsky and Chris Pappas for standing with the majority of constituents and experts who voiced concern over Governor Sununu’s unqualified nominee.”

(Featured image of Russ Prescott by Granite State Progress on Twitter)

NH Educator Praises Clinton’s New ‘Better Than Bullying’ Plan

Educators stand with Hillary in declaring that we must be “Better than Bullying” 

Eskelsen García: “Clinton understands that kindness, collaboration and cooperation are important in school and in life” 

WASHINGTON— NEA President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following response today to Hillary Clinton’s release of Better than Bullying, a plan to provide $500 million in new funding to states to help children, families and educators confront the challenge of bullying and heal divisions in communities around the nation:

“Like our educators, Hillary Clinton understands that kindness, collaboration and cooperation are important in school and in life,” said Eskelsen García. “The rise in vitriolic speech in classrooms and the anxiety created by Donald Trump illustrate that students need this support now more than ever. Educators are proud to have a partner in policies that help our children and look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to implement these proposals as president.” 

The Better than Bullying plan was released this morning in a telebriefing featuring educator and NEA-New Hampshire member Anne McQuade along with campaign representatives and experts. McQuade is teaches English language learners in Manchester, a federally mandated refugee relocation center. Her students frequently describe their fear of a Trump presidency, and she reassures them by saying that they are safe here in America and that the United States will protect them and their families. 

“A student from Mexico stood in front of my desk with watery eyes and asked, ‘Miss, is it true if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, my family will be kicked out of America?’ and ‘Do you think they will take my Dad away? He brings food home and I don’t know what we will do without him,'” McQuade said. “Students should not be thinking about being deported or discriminated against. They should be thinking about their math homework and essays.” 

A recent report by the nonpartisan Southern Poverty Law Center indicated Trump’s divisive, hate-filled campaign has directly impacted America’s classrooms. More than two-thirds of educators said students–mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims – have expressed concern about what may happen to their families after the election, and more than half of educators have seen an increase in uncivil political discourse. From mocking  the disabled, to demeaning women for their appearance, to calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals,” Donald Trump has made no apologies to the growing list of people that he has attempted to bully since the launch of his hate-filled campaign. Earlier this month, the NEA unveiled a digital and direct mail campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects of Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric on America’s schoolchildren.  

Clinton’s Better Than Bullying initiative would provide $500 million in new funding to states that develop comprehensive anti-bullying plans, empowering communities to improve school climates and support our kids. States will have flexibility in tailoring anti-bullying plans to their local communities, in keeping with national priorities outlined by the campaign. Those priorities and examples of policy interventions and investments states can pursue can be found here.  

Previously in the campaign, Clinton has outlined a number of initiatives that complement the Better Than Bullying initiative and its goals, including her commitment to end the school-to-prison pipeline, fight for full equality for LGBT people, and support Americans living with mental health problems and illnesses.

Of the NEA’s nearly 3 million members, 76 percent are women. The majority of NEA members are college educated and reside in suburbs and exurbs. NEA members live in every state and congressional district. The college educated women demographic is perhaps the most critical set in this election, and tens of thousands of NEA educators across the country are working hard on behalf of Secretary Clinton to ensure she is our next president. 

(Featured image: Hillary Clinton speaking on July 29, 2016 – Harrisburg, PA. Photo by Adam Schultz for Hillary for America.)

Did Kelly Ayotte Really Just Call Donald Trump A Role Model? (Hint The Answer Is YES)

Last night in Henniker, NH, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Governor Maggie Hassan faced off in another debate hosted by NECN.  The night was full of interesting statements but the one that caught everyone’s attention was when Ayotte called Donald Trump a role model.

Panelist: The president of the United States is an aspirational figure, one who is our role model, and an individual who stands for ideals on a world stage. Would you tell a child to aspire to be like Donald Trump? 

Senator Ayotte: I would tell a child to absolutely aspire certainly to be their best and to be president and to seek to run for the presidency, absolutely. 

Ayotte tries to avoid the question at first but when pressed for an answer her true feelings about Donald Trump come shining through.

Panelist: But would you, again, to the question, would you tell them to be like Donald Trump? Would you point to him as a role model? 

Senator Ayotte: I think that certainly, there are many role models that we have and I believe that he can serve as president, and so absolutely, I would do that. 

Moments after Ayotte said Trump would make a good role model for children, the internet went wild.  Dozens of tweets went out and some like this one from Philip Rucker of the Washington Post, has been retweeted over 800 times.

Educators from across the state were quick condemn Ayotte’s statement in the debate.

“As educators, we teach our kids that kindness, collaboration, and cooperation are important in school and in life,” said Karen Ladd, Sanborn Regional High School Art Teacher. “Donald Trump is teaching our children the wrong lessons: he has consistently denigrated women, wants to ban Muslims from coming to the country, and mocks people with disabilities. His hate-filled rhetoric is setting a dangerous example for our children.”

Since Trump entered the race for president last year, educators have witnessed a steady increase in bullying and harassing behavior that mirrors his words and actions on the campaign trail. Ayotte’s supporting Trump as a role model shows a lack of judgement and should cause great concern for New Hampshire voters. 

Anne McQuade, an ELL teacher in the city of Manchester, who has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels and works closely with refugee and immigrant students says that Trump’s rhetoric has caused her students great anxiety and fear. 

“My students fear they will be deported, separated from family members, and sent back to the war torn countries they left because their loved ones were in danger,” said McQuade. “Students should not be thinking about being deported or discriminated against. They should be thinking about their math homework and science essays,”

(In a moment of eerie premonition, educators released a statement about Donald Trump not being a role model, the morning prior to the debate.)

naral-ayottesrolemodel-300x250-300x250NARAL, a national pro-choice organization blasted Ayotte in their statement:

“Donald Trump has called women pigs, flat chested, fat and ugly,” said Sasha Bruce, Senior Vice President for Campaigns and Strategy at NARAL. “He has mocked a disabled reporter and incited violence at his rallies. If this is the kind of person who Ayotte thinks is a role model for our children, she needs to take a long look in the mirror. Ayotte’s comments show voters her true feelings about the Donald Trump and they should terrify every voter in New Hampshire.”

NARAL has already moved forward with new digital ads (video) continuing to highlight the connection between Ayotte and Trump they began last week.

Hours after the debate and watching as the internet began to explode, Ayotte’s campaign tried to walk back the statement made during the debate.  They claim that Ayotte simply “misspoke.”  You can be the judge.

ayotte-statement

So what is the truth: Does Ayotte really think Trump is a role model for kids or did she misspeak?

To help you decide, remember Ayotte said she “will support Trump in the election but will not endorse him.”


UPDATED 11:15 10-4-16

Maggie for NH just launched a new digital ad focused on Ayotte’s support of Trump as a role model.

“Senator Ayotte’s statement during the debate that she ‘absolutely’ would point to Trump as a role model for children speaks for itself and was a revealing moment that she cannot take back,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “The President of the United States is a role model for millions of children, and Senator Ayotte’s continued support for Trump is deeply concerning.”

 

New Hampshire Educators Decry “Trump Effect”

Image by Michael Vardon FLIKR CC

Image by Michael Vardon FLIKR CC

Educators Share Accounts of How Trump’s Hate-Filled
Campaign is Harming Their Students

CONCORD, NH – To mark the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month, educators in New Hampshire joined colleagues across the country to discuss Donald Trump’s dangerous and hateful rhetoric, the negative effect they are witnessing in classrooms, and the terrible example that Trump is setting for children.

A recent report by the non-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center, titled “The Trump Effect,” offers hard data about the widespread trickle-down effect Donald Trump’s campaign is having in schools:

  • More than two-third of teachers in the survey reported students – typically immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims – have spoken about fears of what this election could mean to their lives and their family’s lives.
  • More than a third reported increased anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment in schools.

New Hampshire educators explained the dire need for the next President to be someone kids can look up to, not a bully.

“Our children watch everything and what they have learned from Donald Trump is appalling. Trump has based his campaign on dividing America with every sort of bigotry that’s out there and it is showing up in our schools,” said NEA-New Hampshire President, Scott McGilvray. “Our President needs to know the power they have to shape our children’s lives for years to come and that we are stronger together. Hillary Clinton understands this.” 

Manchester’s Anne McQuade explains that since Donald Trump officially became the Republican nominee for President, many of her refugee and immigrant students have come to her to ask questions that revolve around “what if’s”. 

“These honest conversations were sobering and sad,” said McQuade. “My students fear they will be deported, separated from family members, and sent back to the war torn countries they left because their loved ones were in danger.”

Anne McQuade has been an ELL teacher in the city of Manchester, NH, a federally mandated refugee relocation center, for several years. She has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels and works closely with refugee and immigrant students who have traveled to New Hampshire from all over the globe. 

Each time a student brought up their fear of a Trump presidency, she tried to reassure them by saying that they were safe here in America and that the United States will protect them and their families.

“I went on to add that I would protect them when they were in school because it was my job to ensure equity and to fight discrimination and racism. These conversations turned into very teachable moments as I went on to define democracy and the fact that American public schools are the purest form of democracy since everyone is ensured an equitable education, free of bias and ridicule.”

“It is my students who have referred to Donald Trump as a bully, not me. Children are perceptive and smart. We also discussed George Washington’s statement: ‘To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.’ How apropos for the current political arena,” continued McQuade.

When asked to recall specific conversations and questions her concerned students have asked, McQude provided the following examples: 

  • A student from Mexico stood in front of my desk with watery eyes and asked, “Miss, is it true if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, my family will be kicked out of America?” and “Do you think they will take my Dad away? He brings food home and I don’t know what we will do without him.” 
  • An Iraqi student, who is Muslim, told me that when she got off her bus, a man yelled, “Go home terrorist. You shouldn’t be in this country.”
  • A Somalian student said, “Why does Donald Trump hate all refugees and immigrants? Does he even know what is happening in my country right now?!”
  • A girl from the Dominican Republic and a girl from Mexico were talking in my class and the girl from the Dominican Republic said, “I wonder if Donald Trump will kick Dominicans out?” The young lady from Mexico replied, “No, you’re safe, he doesn’t want to build a wall in your country, only mine. My abuela (grandmother) won’t be able to visit me. I’m sad!”

“These are just a few of the many statements my students have made. Students should not be thinking about being deported or discriminated against. They should be thinking about their math homework and essays,” said McQuade. 

“As educators, we teach our kids that kindness, collaboration, and cooperation are important in school and in life; the same qualities that Hillary Clinton has demonstrated throughout her career,” said Karen Ladd, Sanborn Regional High School Art Teacher. “Donald Trump is teaching our children the wrong lessons: he has consistently denigrated women, wants to ban Muslims from coming to the country, and mocks people with disabilities. His hate-filled rhetoric is setting a dangerous example for our children.”

“New Hampshire’s students have been watching Mr.Trump’s bigotry and hate speech, and they know a bully when they see one,” said Maxine Mosley, Manchester School District Guidance Counselor. “We’ve seen one candidate pit Americans against each other, and the other candidate preach that our country is stronger together. The choice is clear: Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to fighting for children and families. We need a leader as a President, not someone whose words would land them in the principal’s office.”


Earlier in the campaign season Hillary Clinton released this ad, “Role Models,” highlighting Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric being broadcast on television.  Donald Trump is not a role model.

Hillary Clinton also released this ad, “Mirrors,” highlighting Trump’s derogatory and misogynistic view of women.  Calling women names like “fat ugly pig,” making fun a woman’s weight.  This type of bullying from a Presidential nominee is unacceptable.  Our President and our Presidential nominee’s should be positive role models for our children not bigoted, demeaning bullies.

NEA-NH Endorses Maggie Hassan For US Senate Over Kelly Ayotte

CONCORD – Today, National Education Association-New Hampshire (NEA-NH), the state’s largest educator and public employee union, announced its backing of Governor Maggie Hassan for United States Senate.

“I am proud to receive the endorsement of the National Education Association-New Hampshire and to stand with them as we continue working to advance educational opportunities for all of our students,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “When our young people are equipped with a strong education, we are able to expand opportunity and ensure that our workforce can to compete in our changing global economy. And it is unacceptable that politicians in Washington like Senator Kelly Ayotte have put their special interest backers ahead of our students. Every student, no matter their zip code, deserves to have access to a quality education, and in the United States Senate, I will continue fighting to support all of our students and educators.”

“Throughout her time in office, Maggie Hassan has consistently stood up for students, educators, and their families,” said NEA-NH President Scott McGilvray. “As our Governor, Maggie has fought to protect funding in our K-12 schools and has worked tirelessly to make college more affordable, and we know she’ll continue fighting for us in the Senate. Unlike Senator Kelly Ayotte, who has consistently put her political party and special interest backers before Granite State students, Governor Hassan will always put New Hampshire first. Governor Hassan understands that our state and nation are better off when students have access to a quality education, and we are proud to recommend her to be our next United States Senator.”

At the K-12 level, Governor Maggie Hassan has fought to protect funding levels for New Hampshire’s public schools, launched a Science Technology Engineering and Math Task Force to modernize STEM education, developed a new program to partner manufacturing companies with local schools and led efforts to reduce standardized testing in favor of more locally managed assessments – a model that is expanding nationally based on New Hampshire’s success. Governor Hassan has also fought to make college more affordable for students and families while building a 21st century workforce pipeline for our businesses. Under Maggie’s leadership, New Hampshire froze in-state tuition at our universities for the first time in 25 years and reduced tuition at community colleges.

In the Senate, Governor Hassan will fight to expand early childhood education, focus on STEM and encourage more participation by girls and young women, give New Hampshire schools the flexibility to put federal dollars to the best possible use and continue the Granite State’s leadership in empowering local school districts, students and teachers. Maggie will also fight to expand Pell Grants, lower interest rates on student loans, allow borrowers to refinance at today’s lower rates and work toward the goal of debt-free public college for all. She will also work to expand apprenticeship opportunities and make federal higher education grants and loans more flexible to support adult workers who are learning new skills.

Meanwhile, Senator Kelly Ayotte has put her party leaders and special interests backers ahead of Granite State students. Senator Ayotte has said she would eliminate or drastically cut the Department of Education, and has supported reckless Paul Ryan budgets that included steep cuts to K-12 education. Ayotte has also voted for deep cuts to Pell Grants while voting against allowing students to refinance their student loans

Jay Kahn Receives Two Big Education Endorsements In NH Senate District 10 Race

Jay KahnJay Kahn, Democratic candidate for the New Hampshire State Senate in District 10, is a higher education administrative professional for 43 years, 28 of them spent in the Monadnock region at Keene State College.  For that reason, he feels extra proud to announce his candidacy has earned the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) and the recommendation of the National Education Association of New Hampshire (NEA-NH).

The American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire is the largest affiliate of NH AFL-CIO and represents a broad cross-section of teachers, paraprofessionals, police, public employees, and higher education faculty.  Like AFT on the national level, AFT-NH champions “fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

According to AFT-NH President Douglas Ley, Jay Kahn is the strongest candidate in the Democratic primary for State Senate District 10.  “Jay Kahn is the candidate best poised to carry forward the work of retiring Senator Molly Kelly, continuing her tradition of firm advocacy for working people and working families in New Hampshire.”

NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of Jay Kahn for Senate District 10 today. A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.

“I am honored to earn the recommendation of NEA-NH for the state senate seat in District 10.  Over my 43 years in higher education, I have dedicated myself to working with faculty and staff to transform the lives of students.  Now I pledge to stand together with NEA and businesses across the state to fortify the pipeline of qualified students into our NH workforce,” said Kahn.  “Retaining high school and college graduates in the state is crucial to our workforce and economic goals.  This includes retaining and attracting teachers and support staff, and giving them the support needed to inspire students and develop creative approaches to teaching and learning.” 

“We know Jay is looking out for students and families from his focus on creating more paid internships to encourage students to stay in NH, and a public higher education tuition freeze for two years, so prospective students can better budget,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President. 

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