New Hampshire has always been the Dixie of New England, and they’ve proved it in spades recently.
The Tea Party dominated New Hampshire Legislature on Wednesday overrode the governor’s veto to enact a new law allowing parents to object to any part of the school curriculum.
The state House voted 255-112 and Senate 17-5 to enact H.B. 542, which will allow parents to request an alternative school curriculum for any subject to which they register an objection. Gov. John Lynch (D) vetoed the measure in July, saying the bill would harm education quality and give parents control over lesson plans.
“For example, under this bill, parents could object to a teacher’s plan to: teach the history of France or the history of the civil or women’s rights movements,” Lynch wrote in his veto message. “Under this bill, a parent could find ‘objectionable’ how a teacher instructs on the basics of algebra. In each of those cases, the school district would have to develop an alternative educational plan for the student. Even though the law requires the parents to pay the cost of alternative, the school district will still have to bear the burden of helping develop and approve the alternative. Classrooms will be disrupted by students coming and going, and lacking shared knowledge.”
The bill basically makes it impossible to teach, unless you happen to teach in a school district in New Hampshire in which there are no crazy people. There is a redeeming feature, sort of, in that only parents with the money to develop the alternative curriculum can make the demand. On the other hand, that means that only parents with money have this new “right”. But the demands on the school system could still be enormous. How does a teacher teach using multiple curricula? What happens when a parent insists that you teach a lie? And make no mistake, that’s the point of this: forcing schools to teach religion in the guise of science.
The way out, and probably the path that will be taken, is for the schools to decide that the curricula demanded requires hiring a new teacher, and telling the parent that they have to pay for that new teacher. At worst, that converts the bill into a mini-stimulus package. Still, this is yet another example of the states that swerved to the right in the last election getting what they voted for, if not what they expected.
UPDATE: A fellow from newsy.com asked me to add this clip to this post, and as it does seem to cover the salient points, I decided I would.