What a travesty.

The Democrat controlled Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee voted against acceptance of a $46 million federal grant to expand innovation and charter schools. The grant was almost double the next largest state grant and targeted for at-risk students but that evidently did not impress those Democrats. I believe that most of us would agree that the Committee should have thanked Commissioner Edelblut and his staff and immediately voted to accept the grant.

It is also important to note that charter schools in NH are public schools. So what was the problem or issue that caused this travesty? I believe the answer is very simple – politics. It is clear, I believe, that the committee Democrats talk about supporting the children but when the votes come, they show their true colors. For them it is all about supporting the unions. You see in charter schools, teaching positions are not union jobs. We have seen this time and again when it comes to any school choice options for families. They vote unions over children. And this is what Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH President, had to say “We support efforts to increase charter accountability and slow the diversion of resources from neighborhood public schools to charters.” Shameful! As Governor Sununu said, “I am sickened by today’s vote, and the Democrats must explain to every single student why they rejected an unprecedented $46 million grant for public schools.”

But I hope this is not over. I heard that the Commissioner is talking to the US Department of Education to see what options there are available and try to make sure the entire grant is not lost. And what can we do? I suggest that we start by asking our local Representatives how they would vote on the grant.

Representatives DesMarais, MacDonald, Cordelli, Marsh, Nelson, Comeau, Avellani and Senator Bradley, how would you have voted? Please tell us.