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Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2015

Communications Office

Governor Hassan’s Veto Message Regarding SB 101

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following message after vetoing SB 101 today:

“By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on May 8, 2015, I have vetoed Senate Bill 101, an act prohibiting the state from requiring implementation of Common Core standards.

“New Hampshire’s economic competitiveness depends on our ongoing commitment to ensuring that our students and workers have the skills needed to compete in the future. Senate Bill 101 serves no real function as it prohibits non-existent requirements. But allowing it to become law would have real and lasting consequences to New Hampshire’s economic competitiveness by sending a damaging signal that our state is not committed to the education standards necessary to prepare a 21st century workforce. That is why the business community and the education community joined together to oppose this legislation. The New Hampshire Business and Industry Association has called for a veto, writing ‘SB101 undermines New Hampshire’s commitment to higher educational standards and sends a message mediocre is okay.’

“No school district is required to implement Common Core under current New Hampshire law, thus there is no need to pass a law exempting districts from compliance. School districts are already well aware that they have such a choice.  In fact, Manchester underwent an extensive process to write its own standards. At the end of the day, Manchester ended up with standards that are quite similar to the Common Core standards, reflecting that Common Core is a common-sense framework – developed from the ground up in a bipartisan process led by Governors and Chief School Officers – for ensuring that our children are ready for careers and/or college.

“Our schools need to prepare our young people to compete in the global, 21st century innovation economy, and college- and career-readiness standards are critical to that effort, which is why Common Core has the support of educators and businesses, and of Republicans and Democrats. As this bill has no practical impact, its purpose appears to be that of sending a message, and it is the wrong message. New Hampshire must be clear that it is committed to developing a 21st century workforce and citizenry, that it welcomes innovation, and that it is modernizing its education system to reflect those values. Legislation like Senate Bill 101 undermines the importance of high standards in education and the work that New Hampshire’s Department of Education and Board of Education do every day to ensure that our students are college ready and prepared to enter the workforce. It undermines similar locally led efforts as well.

“Instead of legislation aimed at undermining college- and career-readiness standards like Common Core – we should be focused on continually improving the education we offer our children. This focus should help schools implement new standards effectively and build on New Hampshire's status as a leader in competency-based education. We should be celebrating and building on innovative programs like our groundbreaking Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE), a locally managed assessment process. PACE empowers our students and our teachers by reducing the level of standardized testing in favor of more locally managed assessments that will be integrated into a student’s day-to-day work, and that improves the effectiveness of project-based 21st century learning.

“As we work together to make sure that our students have access to a rigorous education, it is critical that we continue to do so in the New Hampshire way, with local school districts continuing to have the authority, flexibility and responsibility to meet the best interests of their children. And we need to continue to improve outreach so that we can enhance understanding of modern and rigorous standards among all stakeholders and citizens so that we are working together in a rapidly changing economy to prepare our young people for the future.

“This legislation is unnecessary and its passage would send a message to the business and education community that New Hampshire does not value high standards in education, standards that will help prepare our future workforce for success in the innovation economy. Therefore, I have vetoed Senate Bill 101.”