On Tuesday, February 15, NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and Representative Rick Ladd (R-Haverhill) introduced to the House Education Committee House Bill (HB) 1671, which would overhaul key elements of the state law that governs the content and requirements for a public education in New Hampshire.
The biggest change to the education laws would be that public schools would only be required to teach English Language Arts, math, science, and social studies. It would remove art, health and physical education, engineering, computer science, digital literacy, and world languages from the core academic domains.
When asked by Committee members about removing the content areas, Edelblut responded: “We’re basically signaling to [school districts] that we think these are important areas, and you can continue to offer them as a separate thing if that’s what you want to do, but otherwise we think you should look for opportunities to integrate [into the core subjects].”
Representative Porter asked the Commissioner if HB 1671 would allow school districts to cut programs to reduce their budgets. “If a district were trying to save money, could they get rid of their world languages teachers? Their arts education program because it’s no longer part of the requirement?,” she asked.
“Yeah, they would still be required to offer that type of instruction, but they can offer that through VLACS or some other means. The objective would be to see more of the integration take place,” he responded.
According to the Commissioner, reducing the required content domains would allow schools to focus more on them.
The bill is sponsored by Representative Ladd, who told the House Education Committee that it was written by the NH Department of Education.
Watch the full committee meeting here: https://youtu.be/BHkpUMLvQao?t=7136