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January 2022 Newsletter



Giving voters a voice by empowering elected school district officials to reclaim control over budgets and curriculum.


Great new material on our website:

If you haven't checked out the private members' page on SDGANH.org, please do so.  Zoom recordings of a number of webinars are posted now. This includes the well-received Jan. 10th webinar conducted by Annie Collyer, "Team Building for School District Accountability."

On the public page, under "Resources," you will find our questions for vetting school board and budget committee candidates, model policies for school districts, and a Right to Know public records request template, along with a link for public sector collective agreements. We are adding policies monthly so stay tuned.

We are in the process of finalizing model policies asserting parental rights and a common sense response to students exhibiting gender dysphoria. We will notify our membership when these policies have completed legal vetting and final editing.  You can do your part by sending them to your school board members and urging them to adopt them. Schools will improve when elected officials vote in sensible policies, then ensure they are enforced. It must start with you. The SDGA's Policy Committee welcomes volunteers, too.

Just to show how critical our mission is....
 

"A School Board Banned Ideology From Classrooms. The Schools Simply Ignored It."
Teachers unions are seeking to remove the board members from office, as well as suing them. Outside cash from Hollywood celebrities has bankrolled a recall effort... What follows is a story about a small town on the outskirts of Portland. It is a story of an educational “deep state,” cancel culture, and how the rich and famous are trying to capture it.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/a-school-board-banned-ideology-from-classrooms-the-schools-simply-ignored-it
 


-- Upcoming SDGA events --
 
Membership renewal is Jan. 1.  
If you joined the SDGA prior to Sept 1, 2021 and you don't have a lifetime membership, please pay your annual dues ($20) here https://sdganh.org/donate/   Thank you!  
 
Webinar:  The ABCs of School Boards and their Responsibilities
January 24 (7-8:30 pm): Jody Underwood, PhD., long serving member of the Croydon School Board and pioneering advocate for school tuitioning liberalization, will explain the structure of school districts and the basic responsibilities of school board members. 
Registration is free but required in order to receive a Zoom invitation.  Register here: https://sdganh.org/event/webinar-the-abcs-of-school-boards-and-their-responsibilities/

Webinar:  Toolkit for Newly Elected School Board Members
March 26 (9-11am):  SDGA President, Donna Green, will give an in depth overview of what new school board members need to know to be effective immediately. Shorten that steep learning curve!
Registration is free but required in order to receive a Zoom invitation. Register here: https://sdganh.org/event/webinar-toolkit-for-newly-elected-school-board-members

Webinar:  Policy:  The Secret Battleground
April 25 (7-8:30 pm):  Control of school district policy is the primary means for an elected body to shape and direct service delivery by the superintendent and staff.  Yet elected officials are routinely thwarted in trying to shape school services as desired by their communities.   Arthur Green, policy chair of the SDGA, will present.
Registration is free but required in order to receive a Zoom invitation. Register here: 
https://sdganh.org/event/webinar-policy-the-secret-battleground/?instance_id=416

Upcoming Board Meeting
 

***Saturday, February 5***    9 am - 11-30 am    via Zoom.

NEW:  We have an opening for two board members.  Service is until our next Annual General Meeting in May, 2022. Why not try it on for size? 

Open to all members.  If you wish to attend, email me for a live Zoom link invitation. SDGAofNH@gmail.com



SDGA Legislative News

PLEASE HELP MAKE THINGS RIGHT!  Send an email to Concord.

We still need your help!  If you are in favor of giving voters the option of linking school budgets to enrollment, please read the SDGA's bill HB1393 and write to the Municipal and County Committee at the State House with your reasons for supporting it. We cannot get this passed without an outpouring of support. We've done our part, now we ask you to do what you can... TESTIFY OR WRITE to legislators. 

Email for the Secretary of the Municipal and County Committee:  Heather.Goley@leg.state.nh.us

A hearing date has not yet been set for HB 1393 so watch your email for an announcement, but don't wait. Send in your testimony now if you can't testify in person. Thanks again to Representative Diane Pauer (Hillsborough - District 26), the lead sponsor for our bill.


SDGA supported in legislative committee testimony:
HB 1137 Relative to the duty of school boards to provide education (defines school board duties)
HB 1276  Allowing for school district budgets and warrant articles to include cost per student information (with amendment)
HB 1169  On requiring public comment and responses in school board meetings (with amendment)

SDGA will be supporting in legislative committee testimony:
HB1393  relative to the adoption of school district budget caps based on enrollment
HB 1072  establishing a penalty for denying an elected school district official access to any school district facilities, documents or events. (with amendment)



 Get your school board candidates to sign this pledge and let's change the culture of our schools!  Spread this pledge far and wide!

 

SDGA Candidates Pledge



I, _________________________, PLEDGE TO THE VOTERS OF ____________________________
 
THAT I WILL DO MY UTMOST AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO 
 
1)    Promote education that cultivates in our children a profound respect for our nation's founding principles and the U.S. and New Hampshire Constitutions;
2)    Promote an academic program that teaches that all people are created equal and have equal rights and responsibilities under the law;
3)    Prevent school faculty and staff from politicizing education, while respecting the free speech of individuals and the educator code of conduct;
4)    Insist on maximal transparency to the public, including, but not limited to, curriculum, budgeting, grants, expenditures, bidding, academic outcomes, school environment, etc.;
5)    Respect that parents are the ultimate authority of their children's values, education, and well-being;
6)    Pursue academic excellence through an academic program actively overseen by the elected representatives;
7)    Advocate for reading, writing, and arithmetic as foundational to academic advancement;
8)    Treat all academic program innovations or changes with healthy skepticism;
9)    Represent the residents of the school district by responding to questions, being prudent in budgeting, and holding administration and faculty accountable to those residents;
10)  Hold administrators and staff accountable when they fail to uphold these standards. 


Items of Interest

Access to free, one-on-one tutoring

 From the founder of Khan Academy, Sal Khan and Schoolhouse.world recently launched Live Help, a free math homework help service. The new, online platform offers one-on-one help from peer tutors while utilizing Zoom rooms.
 https://www.education.nh.gov/news/access-free-one-one-tutoring
 
Sign up for the NH DOE's newsletter:  
  • Send an email to comms@doe.nh.gov from the email account where you would like the newsletter to be sent. 
  • In the subject line, please write: Add me to NHDOE email distribution list 
Invaluable iPlatform Training

Starting
 on Jan. 19 and concluding on April 14, The DOE will conduct online training for their data portal.  Learn how to find every statistic and fact the DOE tracks for keeping your district competitive and accountable.
https://www.education.nh.gov/news/iplatform-training-sessions-kick
 


Get Involved in SDGA

 

Help us with outreach: Please invite us to introduce ourselves to your local school board. Are you involved in groups interested in school-related issues?  Invite us to speak!

Join us:  Dues are $20 annually, which we'll ask you for after we process your application.  Fill out an application.  You can also consider a Lifetime membership for $200. SDGANH is funded exclusively through membership fees, seminar receipts and fund raising activity.  (New members who joined in the last quarter of the previous year have their membership carried forward to the end of the next year.)


Renew your membership:  Renew your yearly membership here. Thank you for your continuing support! 

Make a donation: We run on a shoestring, and every little bit helps. http://sdganh.org/donate/

Members are encouraged to join the SDGA facebook group to see events and announcements and to have discussions about them. The SDGA facebook page shows our announcements only.

               _____________________________________________________________________________

Warm best,
Donna Green
President, School District Governance Association
SDGAofNH@gmail.com

Copyright © 2022 School District Governance Association of New Hampshire, All rights reserved.


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