Tuesday, July 5, 2011
New Hampshire Advantage for Whom?
The Democratic majority supported a bill, signed into law by Governor Lynch, which increased the high school dropout age to 18, and provided alternative instruction to those who did not do well in the traditional school setting. This very successful initiative has reduced the dropout rate from 3.75 percent to .97 percent. More students now have a shot at a more stable and prosperous future. Most citizens would agree it is time and money well spent in the development of the leaders of tomorrow in a very competitive global environment, and essential to the future of our country.
However, priorities changed in 2011 with Republican-sponsored bills to abolish the Department of Education; abolish the Board of Education; repeal the 180-day school-attendance requirement; repeal kindergarten; various attempts to weaken public education while deregulating home schooling; and, yes, lower the dropout age from 18 to 16. Cigarettes are now cheaper, while tuition at NH’s university system has been cut almost 50 percent.
Most citizens would agree these proposed setbacks offend common sense, and call into question the intent of their sponsors and supporters. Public education was developed by the ancient Greeks, then expanded by the ancient Romans to include the education of women. It has served humanity well, ensures the masses will be educated, and is more than worthy of public support. If elected, it is my intention to defend public education.
“Let it be known that today we traded the well-being of thousands of New Hampshire citizens for higher cigarette company profits.”
- House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli, June 22, 2011
Think Progress: New Hampshire’s GOP Budget: Low Cigarette Taxes More Important Than Education, Health Care
Boston.com: NH Lawmakers target higher education, reduce cigarette levies