Kill the O’Brien School Amendment

Prospects looked grim late last year, when the House barely bothered to consider the governor’s amendment.  But Speaker Bill O’Brien says ultimately a deep desire to do something outweighed all other considerations.

“Governor Lynch and I really on a one-to-one basis, and in some instances, just he and I, sat down and said we all want to solve this. How do we solve this? And we said we solve it by trusting each other, wanting the best for New Hampshire. And working down to an agreement.”

- NHPR

If you don’t trust Speaker O’Brien, if you don’t believe he acts to promote what’s best for New Hampshire, oppose this capitulation to the public education haters.

  • elwood

    it isn’t ad hominem to say “In that case we’ve got a problem.”

  • Lucy Edwards

    example of the outside NH agenda being pushed by all too many of the GOP reps who were elected in 2010.  It is time to take our state back, to elect people who know their communities and the real needs of NH, and who won’t sell out to the highest bidder or promote their own selfish needs without any thought for their fellow citizens.  

    Those of us running for office in NH this year have a duty to tell the truth to our neighbors all across the state, that they got sold a bill of goods in 2010 and that a lot of damage has been done to this state and it needs to be fixed.

  • Kathy Sullivan 2

    Here is another quote that concerns me from Holly Ramer at the AP:

    “It is straightforward and unambiguous,” said House Speaker Bill O’Brien, a Mont Vernon Republican who answered “absolutely not” when asked whether he thought adoption of the amendment would lead to communities getting less money than they currently receive.

    Since this is Bill O’Brien speaking, what he really is saying is, it is a confusing amendment, and it absolutely means that communities will get less money that they currently receive.

    I hope all Democratic legislators just vote no.  

    And another thing – do you realy want the legislature to have exclusive authority to set standards?  We all saw how the House voted to kill the IB probram in Bedford. Only an all out effort by parents, educators and students reversed course in the Senate.

    • JonnyBBad

      R’s unhappy with O’Brien’s idiocies of mismanagement in the General Court, and Dems who want an income tax to fairly fund education may form into a coalition against,so this thing may  have a hard time getting through the House…

      • Kathy Sullivan 2

        Not all the Demcorats who will vote against this are income tax supporters.  

      • elwood

        There may be some remaining ability to take the state to court for inadequate funding.

        • JonnyBBad

          Elwood, the level of scrutiny(and I am a layman so don’t take this to the bank)is not ‘strict’ but ‘reasonable’…so rather than Claremont level of ‘strict scrutiny’ which led to the court demanding ‘adequacy’, which in practice spreads money evenly across the state to towns like Portsmouth Concord or Keene as well as poorer towns, let’s agree that it therefore awards money to some towns that don’t need it because of high property values and an ability to collect a lot of revenue, and leaves other towns with low property values never having enough to support high quality schools. The idea is to spread the existing revenue to the towns that need it, the original idea of targeted aid, ABC, etc.

          There remains the right under this Amendment if I understand it correctly in current form, for instance if a Town voted to fund 500. per pupil, this could be taken to Court for Judicial Review, and certainly would be viewed by an Judge as unreasonable…
          Attorneys like Kathy and Twomey, Elwood, any others are requested to straighten me out on any errors.

          • elwood

            (for towns below, read ‘cities and towns’)

            1. Under the current Constitution as interpreted in Claremont, the state has the responsibility to ensure that every person has access to an adequate education.
            2. Could that have been met by a law requiring every town to spend at least $5000 per student on schools from local revenue sources and the state kicking in the rest? I don’t know; we never tried that. (Perhaps because of the 1980s ‘no unfunded mandates’ on towns amendment.)
            3. The level of scrutiny that the Courts are allowed to apply, is a different issue than the state/local split. Limiting judicial review means less of a check on BOTH localities and the state.
            4. Until now the Constitution required the state to ensure an adequate education. It did not impose a responsibility on towns. The extent to which the state could delegate that state responsibility to the towns was the issue. The amendment appears to eliminate the state responsibility but not impose one on towns.
            5. I don’t see how a decision by WealthyTown to close its schools and not provide tuition for its students would be prohibited under the O’Brien amendment. The non-wealthy families in town could sue the state today.
            • JonnyBBad

              has this piece, as posted by Kathy Sullivan2, no meaning ?

              Art.] 5-c [Public Education]. In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the legislature shall have the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education and to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity.

              • elwood

                a “system of public elementary and secondary education”?

                Is it one model school somewhere? That private academies can copy if they choose?

                Is it public but with $10,000 per year tuition to the student? (We have public colleges like that.)

                • JonnyBBad
  • cblodg

    Is this Gov. Lynch trying to pad his legacy with this amendment?  He knows full well that O’Brien should never be trusted.  I know I’ll be working very hard to see to it that this gets voted down.

  • Legal Beagle

    However, I can’t see how any member of the Democratic Caucus in either the House or Senate could vote for this garbage. Furthermore, I can’t understand how anyone who would vote for this could call themselves Democrats.

    • Kathy Sullivan 2

      I hope the amendment is defeated, but I don’t think insulting Democrats who may disagree with you and me is helpful or warranted. Seriously, neither one of us have been put in charge of deciding who gets to be a Demcorat and who doesn’t.

  • tchair

    This amendment is for those wanting higher and higher property taxes !

    • elwood

      The amendment is for those who want to eliminate public schools completely. No state aid, no local taxes – no schools.

  • elwood

    - Republicans members who trust Lynch, plus
    - Democratic members who trust O’Brien

    Does that add up to 237? The Venn diagrams look a little underlapped…

    • Rep. Jim Splaine

      Best Comment Of The Week Award!

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