2015 Priorities for New Hampshire's Children

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Ensure Educational Opportunity For All Children.

Priority Leaders: Dr. Mark V. Joyce (NH School Administrators Association), Scott McGilvray(NEA/New Hampshire) and Laura Hainey(NH AFT )

NH CAN Partners need to support the continued full funding of constitutional adequacy for all children served in NH public schools by monitoring legislative efforts aimed at reducing and/or diverting public funds from public schools.

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Protect Students’ Online Privacy

Priority Leader: Devon Chaffee, New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union

In recent years, schools across the country are invading students’ online privacy rights. More and more schools require students to turn over their online account access information or to “friend” school officials and submit to invasive monitoring by schools administrators. New Hampshire should ensure that its privacy laws and school policies keep pace with technology by prohibiting this practice.

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Promote Afterschool and Summer Learning

Priority Leader: Lynn Stanley, NH Afterschool Network

Informal learning that takes place after school, before school, and during summer and school vacations can provide enrichment and expand upon the learning that takes place during the school day. NH CAN can help NHAN promote afterschool learning by sharing information with state and local policy makers, assisting in the identification of potential legislation, and further connecting NHAN with key stakeholders and future partners.

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Update Educator Equity Plan 

Priority Leader: Laura Hainey, AFT- NH

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote to the NH Department of Education to request that each state submit, by April 2015, an updated Educator Equity Plan in accordance with the requirements of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. AFT- NH is proposing the formation of a diverse group of stakeholders including advocates, state agency personnel and others to update the NH Equity Plan to reflect the needs of our children and families.

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Improve Access to Medical and Social Services

Priority Leaders: Paula Smith,Southern NH Area Health Education Center and Kris McCracken, Manchester Community Health Center

On a national and global level, Community Health Workers (CHWs) connect people to needed services and bridge the gap between medical care, behavioral health, social services, and the community. NH CAN should use this opportunity to leverage partnerships to broaden the awareness and knowledge base of health care organizational leaders, legislators, and families about the strengths and values of Community Health Workers.

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Reduce Childhood Lead Poisoning

Priority Leader: Tom Irwin, Conservation Law Foundation 

In 2008, NH’s Lead Study Commission found that "very small amounts of lead in children can cause negative, persistent health and cognitive effects. Studies by researchers have demonstrated that comparatively minor elevations in lead levels at two years of age are associated with significant impairments in intellectual and academic performance.” Yet, children continue to be exposed to and poisoned by lead in NH. An active stakeholder group is working to advance multiple solutions, including through the development and enactment of legislation. These efforts would greatly benefit from the engagement of NH CAN Partners, including testifying in support of legislation, and mobilizing their networks to do the same.

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Community-Based Prevention for Children and Families

Priority Leader: Keryn Bernard-Kriegl(New Hampshire Children’s Trust), Kristen Vance (The Grapevine Family and Community Resource Center) and Karen Welford (Family Support NH) 

A vital and productive society is built on a foundation of healthy child development. This is the opportune time to standardize and support community-based prevention services. NH CAN partners can assist in developing legislative language, recruiting sponsors, disbursing information and supporting the legislative process to promote passage.

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Educate Our Legislators about FANF, Food Stamps, and EBT 

Priority Leaders: MaryLou Beaver, Family Assistance Advisory Council; Every Child Matters in NH and Keith Kuenning, Child and Family Services

Over the course of the last eight years there have been no less than twenty pieces of legislation dealing with the Financial Assistance to Needy Families Program (FANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps), and Electronic Benefits (EBT) cards. Through presentations to committees, groups of interested legislators, and a Spring Conference for legislators and other policy makers, NH CAN partners can instill a better understanding of these programs and the families served by them.

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Strengthen Homeowners Property Tax Relief 

Priority Leaders: Jeff McLynch, NH Fiscal Policy Institute 

New Hampshire’s state and local tax system has long imposed greater responsibilities on low- and  moderate-income families and individuals than on more affluent ones. New Hampshire relies on its relatively modest Low- and Moderate-Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program to mitigate the impact of its statewide property tax. NHFPI intends to pursue a multi-faceted strategy in advancing changes to the Low- and Moderate-Income Property Tax Relief Progra, aided by NH CAN Partners who disseminate research briefs to its members, serve as another voice in hearing rooms and in the media, and capitalize upon longstanding legislative relationships.

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Strengthen the Juvenile Justice System

Priority Leader: Keith Kuenning,Child and Family Services

Children are vulnerable, particularly children who are at a crossroad between the justice system and a healthy life. NH CAN strengthened the juvenile justice system over the past several years by passing legislation on CHINS in 2013 and Juvenile Justice Modernization in 2014. In order to assist children finding their way into a productive life, NH CAN should work to ensure that HB 1624 is not modified and is fully carried out.

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Investing In Our Children And Our Future

Priority Leader: NH CAN Steering Committee

New Hampshire’s success is based on the power of people working together to maintain our quality of life through the careful protection of public structures such as police, fire protection, highways and education. Solid public structures are the foundation of a healthy Granite State on which children, families, and businesses build their lives.Partners should work with NH CAN to explore incremental reforms to our tax system, making it more equitable and sustainable for NH.

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