George Carlin was Right! - SAU 16, The School Funding Study, and Partisan Politics Edition - Granite Grok

George Carlin was Right! – SAU 16, The School Funding Study, and Partisan Politics Edition

Geroge Carlin YouTube Screen Grab

In 2019, the NH General Court approved the creation and implementation of a School Funding Study and gave it a budget of $500,000. I won’t get into the particulars of the final report at this time, but I will say that the $500 grand would have been better spent on one of the underfunded communities discussed in the final report.

In any case, you are encouraged to read the final report here: School Funding Study | Carsey School of Public Policy | UNH

I will focus my observations on the commission itself, including its members, other entities involved, and who they partnered with.

With that being said, here is a screenshot of the page from The UNE Carsey School of Public Policy, School Funding Study:


Commission members screen grab

Commission Members | School Funding Study (


While I don’t pretend to know the political affiliation of every member of this commission, even a quick dig renders it hard to ignore that this group, funded by half a million dollars in NH taxpayer’s money, seems very partisan.

Of the NH State Senators and Representatives on the commission, only one, Richard Ladd, is a Republican.

Former Senator Iris Estabrook is a Democrat, and John Beardmore was appointed by Democrat Senator Hassan. And with all of the news coming out of SAU 16 lately, it comes as no surprise that Superintendent David Ryan was also on this commission.

Anyone who doesn’t believe by now that  Ryan is partisan simply isn’t paying attention.

The commission is partnered with The Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH. Hmmm…Now, where have we heard the Carsey School mentioned lately?

Ah, yes! Andres Mejia, SAU 16’s new DEIJ hire and member of Seacoast BLM: Exeter NH schools hire a new director to focus on diversity and equity (

Speaking of SAU 16, Jane Bergeron Beaulieu of NH Association of Special Education Administrators (NHASEA) was also on this commission. While I don’t know anything about Ms. Bergeron Beaulieu herself, I do know that Helen Rist, SAU 16 Director of Student Services, was elected President of NHASEA in May of 2019:

And speaking of NHASEA, let’s check out their professional partners: NH Association of Special Education Administrators – Member Services – NHASEA Professional Partners.

Now, that’s a motley crew right there (and no, I’m not referring to the bad boys of heavy metal). I willingly concede that I didn’t recognize all of these organizations. Take Reaching Higher New Hampshire, for example.

If you scroll back to that screenshot link above, however, it states: 

“As part of its public engagement work, the Carsey School is reaching out to key stakeholders representing public education leaders, local school boards, teachers, parents, students, business leaders, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Reaching Higher New Hampshire.”

Gee, nobody ever reached out to me for my input, but I digress. Ms. Bergeron Beaulieu sat on this commission, SAU 16 superintendent sat on this commission, his Director of Student Services was the President of the board of NHASEA at that time, and Reaching Higher New Hampshire is listed as an NHASEA partner. Are you dizzy yet? 

Do you know what else is odd? Elizabeth Canada, who was the Director of Community Engagement at Reaching Higher New Hampshire, spoke during the public commentary portion of the SAU 16 joint board meeting on August 3, 2021. 

Join us in welcoming Liz Canada, our new Director of Community Engagement (

She was the penultimate speaker at that meeting. She criticized the people who want to stop CRT and do something about the decline of SAU 16’s state ranking. While she was not alone in her views (vastly outnumbered, but not alone), you would think that someone with her credentials would want to mention them. Then again, maybe that would cause people to question why someone with a degree in education from Harvard would convince the public that student test scores shouldn’t be the primary way we rank schools. 


 Her Statement begins at approx 1:58: Exeter Region Cooperative School Board Meeting – YouTube.


To these people, we’re just the unwashed masses paying for all of this grift. George Carlin was right: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”