Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD - Today, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to concur with the Senate recommendation of Ought to Pass as Amended on HB 1558, an education omnibus bill, 201-129. HB 1558 will next be enrolled with the Secretary of State’s office and then go to the governor’s desk, at which time he will have five days to act.
After the vote, Senate Education and Workforce Development Chair Jay Kahn (D-Keene) issued the following statement:
“This bill combines efforts of many House and Senate members, Republicans and Democrats, as well as stakeholders, to bring together legislation that makes improvements for our schools, students, towns and municipalities.
Every child and teacher should have the support they need in school to be successful. This legislation provides guidance for schools to assure safety, have access to behavioral health resources and training programs, have greater flexibility to address fiscal concerns when budgets and revenues are uncertain.
The welfare of children in schools is addressed through sections updating policies on discipline and suspension, brain injury recovery, sexual abuse prevention training, multi-tiered systems of support for behavioral wellness, change of school assignment, reporting violence in schools and criminal history background checks of school bus drivers and attendants.
School district funding concerns are addressed through increased reserve limits, setting bond authorization levels at town meetings, and funding to districts transitioning to full-day kindergarten funding during this biennium.
This bill also makes it easier for businesses to participate in economic revitalization zones and graduate retention incentive partnerships by giving the Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs authority to certify compliance with statutory requirements for participation. Under another provision the Chancellor of the university System would become a member of the Commissioner’s Council of Partner Agencies. A further workforce improvement is included in HB 1234, which clarifies the process for implementing career ready credentials for students completing vocational-technical education programs.
I thank my House colleagues for their vote today and look forward to the governor’s signature. These changes will keep New Hampshire schools competitive with changes made in surrounding states and across the country.”