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Rep. Dan Eaton, D Stoddard, the head of House Finance Division II, which recommended the elimination of new charter school funding, denied that claim, saying it's "all dollars and cents."
During budget talks in March, Eaton questioned whether leaving charter school funding in limbo could be used as a political "trump card" during budget negotiations in June.
Losing federal startup money or permanently harming the charter school movement weren't a focus during the budget writing process, Eaton said, because lawmakers were advised that the state didn't have enough charter schools ready for approval to receive the federal funding this year anyway a claim Southerton denies.
That's the outlook that Matt Southerton, executive director for the New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools, has after the House approved a two year budget last week that eliminated $2.5 million for new charter schools, enacting a two year moratorium and limiting the growth of existing schools.
Sen. Nancy Stiles, R Hampton, who heads the education committee, said she believes there is support for charter schools in the Senate.
The state has 18 approved charter schools, with several more under development, including three in Nashua.
"I'm trying to have a trump card or two, and this is one where it might be a very healthy trump card," he said at that meeting, recorded on video by Southerton and posted to YouTube.
"But as it turned out, no matter what they wanted, it wouldn't make sense to put it in. We don't have the money."
If the House's funding plan is approved as part of the final state budget, Southerton said he's worried it could undo years of work by lawmakers and charter school advocates.
have realized it doesn't make fiscal sense to fund the new schools.
"Going back two months, we did not know how much money we had available," he said.
"It would be devastating for charter school programming in New Hampshire," he said. "It's going to harm the existing schools and kill off any possibility of new schools."
State officials and advocates had to work hard to get a federal $11.6 million charter school startup grant in 2010, convincing federal officials that the state's attitude toward charter schools had changed, he said.
"We'll put it Beats Headphones Blue into the priority listing and see if we can put it in," she said Friday. "Charter schools do wonderful things for the kids that they serve. I'm all about supporting students, and that's where I think the Senate will go."
But Charlie Arlinghaus, executive director of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a New Hampshire think tank that has long supported public charter schools, said that while the current situation isn't good for the schools, it isn't the biggest obstacle charter school founders have faced in the state.
For Southerton, the situation feels like taking a huge step backward.
But not everyone in the state sees it that way. A majority of House lawmakers, after all, voted against more than one attempt to add charter school funding back into the budget. And Eaton said a failure to fund new schools could actually light a fire under Beats In Ear Wireless
likely be lost. That would not only hurt existing charter schools still eligible for the grant money, it could leave lasting effects, Southerton said.
But on Thursday, Eaton said that in the weeks since that meeting, lawmakers Babyliss Pro Curl Secret
New Hampshire's House passed an $11 billion, two year budget package on April 3 that doesn't support legalizing a casino, a move supported in Gov. Maggie Hassan's budget, which also included money for new charter schools.
NH charter school funding saga continues
developers and push them to get their applications together faster.
What's especially disappointing, Southerton said, is that it appears Granite State charter schools are being used as a political bargaining chip during budget negotiations between the House and Senate.
"The two biggest problems that face charter schools are neglect and uncertainty," he said. "Neglect has been worse in the past."
CONCORD If the state passes its budget for the next biennium without money for new charter schools, the effects would be devastating, and long lasting.
It's now up to the state Senate to bring the funding back for the next biennium.
HB 2, the companion bill to the budget, could also affect charter schools, taking away the state's requirement to apply for federal grants for the charter school program, for example.
If the state sees a two year moratorium on new schools in the next biennium, the remaining $5.6 million of that grant will Beats Wireless Solo 2
Still, the state Board of Education, which has consistently stated its conceptual support for charter schools, has said it won't hear school applications until funding for new schools is guaranteed.
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