Vote Scheduled for Amendment to Deconstruct NH Education

Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution (CACR) 8 is scheduled for vote on the floor of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 21. It has five House sponsors and one Senate sponsor; all are members of the Republican Party. If approved, it would repeal Part First, Article 6 of the New Hampshire Constitution, and replace it with language that provides that the legislature shall have the sole and exclusive power to authorize schools. All schools. Including public schools. Since what the sponsors want to do … take full control of New Hampshire schools and eliminate court oversight … is unconstitutional, they now wish to make constitutional through amendment to the Constitution.

CACR 8 corrupts the original language of the founding fathers of personal “morality and piety” being best expressed through “high principles” propagated by our collective society; instead the sponsors substitute language that proposes that “morality and piety” is best expressed “by establishment of schools for that purpose …” Sponsors also conclude that because of “the principles of self-government expressed in the Constitution,” the legislature should have the sole and exclusive power to authorize schools “from time to time,” and that all municipalities shall have the exclusive right (obligation) of paying for their own teachers and establishing their own curricula, except that the legislature “may” decide to help municipalities pay for such education “in the manner and degree that the Legislature finds most beneficial to the general good.”

Under this Constitutional Amendment, the legislature would be free to determine that public schools do not contribute to the “general good,” or that the general good is best served by lowering taxes; thus, the legislature would be free to conclude that not more than $50 towards the education of each student in New Hampshire
satisfies the definition of “the general good.” There is no need for me to comment with regard to what CACR 8 would do to local property taxes; no need to mention the disparity in the quality of education among wealthy towns and poor towns, the aristocracy and the rest; or that the “principles of self-government expressed in the Constitution” would allow that education, itself, is optional among municipalities.
This amendment to our New Hampshire Constitution would be very destructive to the future of our state.
The full text of the legislation can be found at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/CACR0008.html
NH State Constitution: http://www.nh.gov/constitution/constitution.html
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Defending NH Public Education www.dnhpe.org