Local taxpayers fund the professional membership dues of school district principals, superintendents, special needs administrators, and school board members to advocate for political change within your public schools.
These groups, the NH Association of School Principals (NHASP), the NH School Administrators Association (NHSAA), the NH Association of Special Education Administrators (NHASEA), and the NH School Boards Association (NHSBA), advocate for political change while deliberately blocking the public from attending these meetings, understanding their political agenda, or even speaking at school board meetings.
Don’t believe me? Boy, are you in for a surprise.
The NH School Boards Association (NHSBA) drafts “sample policies” for school board members, who subscribe to their services at taxpayer expense. Each policy includes the following disclaimer:
DISCLAIMER:This sample policy manual is copyrighted to the New Hampshire School Boards Association and is intended for the sole and exclusive use of NHSBA Policy Service Subscribers. No portion of this manual may be reproduced, copied, transmitted, distributed, in any form, except as needed for the development of policy by a subscribing district. The materials contained in the manual are provided for general information only and as a resource to assist subscribing districts with policy development. School districts and boards of education should consult with legal counsel and revise all sample policies and regulations to address local facts and circumstances prior to adoption. NHSBA continually makes revisions based on school districts’ needs and local, state and federal laws, regulations and court decisions, and other relevant education activity.
That’s right, you as a taxpayer cannot get or distribute copies of proposed policies! Some districts pay up to $10,000 per year for membership in the NH School Boards Association, yet the public is not allowed to review the political agenda which can be found in each and every sample policy.
School board members often receive NHSBA sample policies in envelopes marked “confidential,” which is of course just a ploy. Only privileged information from the Board’s attorney is legally considered confidential, not information from a private, non-public, political advocacy group.
The NHSBA, like the professional associations: NHSAA, NHASP, NHASEA, employs a lobbyist who is paid by taxpayer dollars sent to them by school boards. These lobbyists weigh in on most education bills that come before the NH legislature. They regularly testify before the NH House Education Committee and the NH Senate Education Committee, at your expense.
The NHSBA hides behind their wall of secrecy, encouraging school board members to:
- censor the public at school board meetings, and
- delegate away their statutory authority to their superintendent.
Wow! Why would they do that? Here are just a couple of excerpts from NHSBA’s sample policies that demonstrate their agenda:
BEDB – AGENDA PREPARATION AND DISSEMINATION (NHSBA’s sample policy)
When the final agenda has been established, it will be made available to the public, upon request. Members of the public who wish to speak at Board meetings regarding an agenda item are encouraged to contact the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting. Additionally, the Board reserves the right to limit public discussion at Board meetings to agenda items only.
The NHSBA recommends that the Superintendent should be in charge of lining up public comment. Members of the public are “encouraged to contact the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting.” Who’s running our School Board meetings? Not the School Board!
The NHSBA also recommends that School Boards “limit public discussion at Board meetings to agenda items only.” The public should not be restricted when speaking to their elected representatives. That’s censorship!
BEDB – AGENDA PREPARATION AND DISSEMINATION (NHSBA sample policy)
The Superintendent shall prepare all agendas for meetings of the Board. In doing so, the Superintendent shall consult with the Board.
The NHSBA ignores the fact that each School Board has the statutory authority and a sworn duty to govern their district:
New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) 189:1-a Duty to Provide Education. –
II. Elected school boards shall be responsible for establishing the structure, accountability, advocacy, and delivery of instruction in each school operated and governed in its district.
The Board President and Committee Chairmen should prepare their own agendas, after consulting with the administration, not the other way around.
Do you now understand why our public schools are implementing one education reform after another without listening to parents?
Local taxpayers are funding political activists to secretly whisper in the ears of local elected representatives, and lobbyists to testify before the state legislature on education bills. The School Boards pays for “professional” advice and then go about aligning themselves to the sample policies, deferring to associations as the “experts” …. even when that’s in conflict with state law. These “professionals ” allow school board members to neglect their duty to personally research policy proposals, because after all, the association’s attorneys have “already done all of that for them.”
In addition, the state and federal government offer grants and incentives, i.e., bribes, to School Boards to implement these education reforms. The failure of the voters to notice these behind-the-scenes maneuvers has resulted in a substantial loss of local control and runaway School Boards. It’s time we turned this around!