SB140, a bill to preserve local control in education, vetoed

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On Wednesday, July 10, Governor Sununu vetoed SB 140, which would have reaffirmed the role of local school districts in granting academic credits.

The bill would have nullified the proposed Learn Everywhere rules, which allow the State Board of Education to approve academic programs run by for-profit and nonprofit organizations, both in and out of state. According to the proposal, public schools and charter schools would be required to accept at least one-third of a high school student’s total credits for graduation.  

In his veto statement, the Governor expressed support for Learn Everywhere:

“New Hampshire has a long and distinguished history of education innovation that has served our students, families, and communities well. Learn Everywhere is the next step on this path to innovation and this bill effectively repeals it,” he said.

Senator Jay Kahn, the bill’s primary sponsor, released this statement in response to Governor Sununu’s veto:

“State law consistently defines school boards as responsible for approving curriculum for students attending their schools. SB 140 sought to clarify legislative intent and reinforce local control, which Learn Everywhere rules recently adopted by the Board of Education greatly exceed. It’s appalling Governor Sununu chose today to further shift curriculum approval authority away from school districts and to the Board of Education.”

The proposed Learn Everywhere rules (also known as ED 1400 rules) were introduced in January 2019 and were approved by the State Board of Education on June 13, 2019 by a 4-3 vote despite “overwhelming public opposition.”

Before they take effect, the rules must be reviewed by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). This Committee checks proposed rules to ensure they comply with all state and federal laws.

The Learn Everywhere rules are scheduled to be presented to JLCAR on July 18.