Public Education Advocates Request the Department of Education to Halt 306 Rules Revision Until Clear Public Process and Timeline Established

The minimum standards for public education are being redrafted with little transparency or public input

CONCORD, NH –  Professional educators, parents, and community leaders from some of the state’s leading public education organizations have signed a joint letter requesting the New Hampshire Department of Education and the NH State Board of Education to halt the current 306 Rules revision process until a more transparent and inclusive public process and timeline is established for the consequential rules. 

The 306 Rules, also known as the Minimum Standards for Public Education, address every aspect of public education in New Hampshire. From professional development for teachers to classroom curriculum to what is served in the cafeteria, the 306’s have a significant impact on the way New Hampshire public education students experience schooling. Yet the process for drafting the new rules has left many concerned. The letter addresses several aspects of the current process that the state’s top public education advocates want addressed, such as a lack of diverse and critical input from key education partners and stakeholders, the current drafted version’s attempts to gut core content areas, and a lack of public transparency and accountability and a clear timeline on behalf of both the NH Department of Education and the National Center for Competency Based Learning (NCCBL), the firm hired through a sole-source contract to conduct the revision process.

“The NH Department of Education’s current 306 Rules drafting process is being conducted by an outside firm with little public oversight for how stakeholders are selected, the content they discuss, the input they provide, or the timeline they are operating on,” said Sarah Robinson, the Education Justice Campaign Director for Granite State Progress. “These rules are crucial to maintaining a strong and inclusive public education in our state. Without broad public input and scrutiny from all stakeholders, how can the DOE expect to offer a draft that meets the needs of our students? We should all be concerned about attempts to rewrite our public education standards without a strong and transparent public process.”

The joint letter, found below, calls to restart the process in a more open and transparent manner and to include a broad and diverse range of stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes for our students, and our state. Signing organizations offer the additional statements:

Megan Tuttle, President, NEA-NH: “The behind-closed-doors process being used by the New Hampshire Department of Education and their selected contractor is very concerning and runs counter to how we do things in New Hampshire. With something as important as rewriting the minimum standards for our public schools, input from a broad variety of stakeholders and the public should have been included from the start. Every New Hampshire student deserves a school with the resources, programs, and curriculum to nurture their curiosity and desire to learn. The 306 Rules are a critical part of ensuring high expectations and standards across our schools that foster strong, inclusive learning environments for our students and facilitate parental, family, and community involvement and engagement. We urge the Commissioner to restart these efforts with a more representative process, operating in a transparent environment.”

Deb Howes, President, AFT-NH: “The 306 Rules serve as the foundation for learning in our public schools, and education stakeholders know how critical it is that the rules are established in the best interest of our students. Without a clear process and timeline, involving a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, the NH Department of Education is harming public confidence in how the rules are being formed and implemented. There is reasonable concern over whether the process is being intentionally conducted outside of established timelines and public oversight, and what that might mean for public schools and our students. Moving quickly to establish a clear and public process allows everyone to move forward together.” 

Zack Sheehan, Project Director, NH School Funding Fairness Project: “Changes to these standards impact almost every aspect of our public schools, including conversations and decisions related to funding. These standards must strive to support well-resourced public schools that can provide a great education to every student who walks through their doors. That’s why it is critical that there be a process that incorporates and values opportunities for public input. I understand that actively seeking out input from a diverse set of stakeholders is challenging, time consuming work, but our students, parents, school districts, and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

Jen Bisson, Board Chair, Support Our Schools New Hampshire: “As a parent of two young daughters, I am disheartened by the way in which the state has handled revising the 306 Administrative rules. I am very concerned that these rules are going to hurt the public schools that my children attend. There has been almost no transparency in the process, and what little we have been able to learn about the process is troubling to say the least. It is time to start this process over and do it right. Our childrens’ education is too important.”

Carisa Corrow, Founder, Educating for Good: “As times change and priorities shift, New Hampshire’s rules for public schools should be updated regularly in a transparent process that includes students, parents, educators as well as the community at large. The current attempt at updating NH’s education rules has neither been transparent nor inclusive of the communities these rules will serve. While recent attempts to engage educators is encouraging, the Department of Education needs to ensure more voices are heard.”

Janet Ward, Vice President, League of Women Voters NH: “The League of Women Voters of NH supports public schools as a foundation of our democracy. The League believes in transparency in all state departments.  Revision of the rules which govern New Hampshire’s schools should be done in an open and public manner. The most recent review of the 306 rules has been done privately, without public participation or oversight.  These are the reasons the League signed the letter sent to NH’s Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education asking for the establishment of an open and transparent 306 revisioning process.”


LGBTQ+ Advocates and Moms Speak Out Against CD 1 Republican Candidate Karoline Leavitt Targeting LGBTQ+ Youth

Most Granite Staters agree: “LGBTQ+ Students Belong in New Hampshire”

MANCHESTER, NH – Today CD 1 Republican Candidate Karoline Leavitt held a press conference outside of West High School in Manchester, NH to demand that school officials out LGBTQ+ students to their families – a move that directly interferes in parent-child relationships and could put some Granite State students at risk for harm.

Advocates for LGBTQ+ youth and New Hampshire moms released the following statements.

Linds Jakows, 603 Equality: “LGBTQ people belong, and sometimes schools are the only place for LGBTQ youth to feel safe being who they are. 603 Equality rejects all attempts to create unsafe learning environments for students, risk their mental health, and undermine the state’s obligation to provide an adequate and inclusive education for all students. No LGBTQ+ student should be deprived of the safety and affirmation a public school can provide.”

“Every child deserves a safe, healthy, and affirming home environment, but when that is not possible – or when a child is not yet ready to have a conversation with their family about their identity – schools should not be put in the place of outing that student and potentially putting the child at risk. More than half of LGBTQ+ youth have seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 5 transgender or non-binary youth attempted suicide in the past year alone. However, those whose pronouns were respected attempted suicide at half the rate. We need to support and protect LGBTQ+ students.”

Sarah Robinson, Education Justice Campaign Director for Granite State Progress: “Our schools should be places of belonging, where all children have the freedom learn in a safe and affirming environment. As a mom myself, I want my children to be valued in every space they are in. Coming out to a parent is a big moment in a child’s life. Regardless of how parents feel about their children’s identity, teachers and school officials should not be put in the position to interfere with that parent-child relationship. We also know that for some students, coming out puts them in serious danger at home. We have a responsibility for the safety of our students.”

Marcella Termini, parent of Manchester School District students: “Most of us want to see our children thrive, and work in close partnership with our schools to make that happen. Politicians like Karoline Leavitt are attacking LGBTQ+ students just to score political points and try to drive a wedge between parents and public schools. It’s dangerous and it’s wrong. LGBTQ+ kids belong in New Hampshire. If your kid is not telling you something, that should tell you something. Creating supportive home environments that are welcoming and affirming is the best approach so that children know they can have that conversation when they are ready.”

Meanwhile, Granite Staters have made it clear that NH supports LGBTQ+ youth. Local communities have rejected both politicians and policies that promote so-called parental rights or Don’t Say Gay bills, book bans, and other efforts to harm LGBTQ+ students and undermine school efforts to create affirming, inclusive learning environments. Examples:

  • In March school board elections, Granite Staters across the state overwhelmingly rejected candidates who targeted a strong, inclusive public education.
  • In May, the New Hampshire state legislature rejected a bill which would have removed community protections for children, including requiring mandatory, immediate disclosure to parents about changes in gender identity and expression at school, even if it put the student at risk or danger.
  • In September, the City of Rochester handily blocked a proposed book ban by Senator and City Council James Gray to ban 4 LGBTQ+ books from the city library.

Every time politicians come after our LGBTQ+ kids, our community will rise up to protect our children. Every child deserves to be safe, healthy, and loved. 


A group of moms attended the press conference in person to instead share messages of love and support for LGBTQ+ students.

Film Director of Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are?) to Join NH Education and Racial Justice Leaders for Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Tuesday, September 27th at Red River Theatres

Film explores how Americans portray the story of the Civil War across the nation, and the ongoing impacts on society, public education, and racial justice

CONCORD, NH – With so much attention focused on what’s being taught in New Hampshire classrooms –– and classrooms across the country –– Granite State Progress and Learn From History are hosting an evening of impactful discussion with the people closest to the issue: parents, educators, students, and racial justice leaders from across New Hampshire.

The evening will kick off with a screening of the documentary Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are?) followed by a panel discussion with film director Rachel Boynton and New Hampshire leaders in public education, racial justice, and an honest education, including:

  • Woullard Lett: Co-Chair of N’Cobra New England Chapter and Chair of the NAACP of Manchester NH Education Committee
  • Ronelle Tshiela: Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Manchester and JD Candidate at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
  • Jonah Wheeler: HEAL Together Program Coordinator, Rights and Democracy NH
  • Tina Philibotte: Educator and DEIJ Leader
  • Misty Crompton: 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
  • State Rep. Manny Espitia: Nashua

“This is a powerful and reflective opportunity as we work together to protect our public schools and ensure our children can learn from the mistakes of the past in order to build a better future for all of us,” said Sarah Robinson, Education Justice Campaign Director for Granite State Progress, who will moderate the panel.

Members of the public wishing to attend may register here.

Members of the media wishing to attend or schedule an interview should email

More about the documentary: Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are?)

Directed by Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Rachel Boynton, the film provides a look at how Americans portray the story of their Civil War, revealing a nation haunted by an embittered past and the stories it refuses to tell. Filmed from the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency through the present, it interweaves insightful scenes and touching interviews to paint a portrait of the American psyche and the deep roots of its turbulent times.

The Washington Post wrote: “In “Civil War: (Or, Who Do We Think We Are),” filmmaker Rachel Boynton takes viewers on a road trip through American public memory — and thus through ignorance, both accidental and intentional … Heritage, it turns out, is a more apt phrase than history for what many citizens are steeped in, especially in the South, where after the Civil War such organizations as the United Daughters of the Confederacy instituted curriculums that forbade teaching that the conflict was waged to preserve slavery. But mythmaking was just as prevalent in the North, where reconciliation was readily and routinely prioritized over racial justice.” stated “Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are)” is an account of a country that broke apart and never really got back together.”


Back to School Gun Violence Prevention Assembly Scheduled for Saturday, September 10th at 10:00 AM at Concord High School

As another school year begins, students, parents, educators, and community members gather to remember victims of gun violence and to work toward safer schools and communities

CONCORD, NH – Students, parents, educators, and community members will gather outside of Concord High School on Saturday, September 10th at 10:00 am to remember the victims and survivors of gun violence and work urgently to prevent future tragedies.

The Back to School Gun Violence Prevention Assembly is hosted by members of the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition. The program features speakers and an overview about school safety in New Hampshire right now, including ways to take action to protect our students, educators, and community. The event includes a Be SMART table hosted by Moms Demand Action. The Be SMART framework is designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries.

According to Education Week, there have been 29 school shootings this year that resulted in injuries or deaths. Across the country, there have been more than 300 mass shootings in 2022.

In New Hampshire, there is no state law prohibiting firearms in K-12 schools by community members; federal law provides more protections but guidance from the Attorney General’s office leaves schools and communities in vulnerable situations. Governor Chris Sununu vetoed a gun free schools bill, along with bills to close background check loopholes and implement other common sense gun violence prevention policies.

WHAT:          Back to School Gun Violence Prevention Assembly

WHEN:           Saturday, September 10th at 10:00 AM

WHERE:        Concord High School, 170 Warren St, Concord, NH 03301

WHO:             Hosted by GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress; Moms Demand Action New Hampshire; and other members of the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition


ICYMI: NH Attorney General Releases Interim Guidance Potentially Invalidating Major Portions of HB 1178, An Extreme and Dangerous Gun Lobby Law Signed by Gov. Chris Sununu

New interim guidance from Attorney General’s office allows state and local police, school officials to respond to firearms related threats and to notify federal law enforcement, despite state law prohibiting cooperation and enforcement; public safety advocates hail interim guidance as victory

CONCORD, NH – In response to growing concerns and calls for guidance for state and local law enforcement and school officials in the wake of Governor Sununu’s signing of HB 1178, the New Hampshire Attorney General released interim guidance yesterday afternoon that appears to invalidate major portions of the extreme and dangerous gun lobby bill.

“This interim guidance provides state and local police and school officials with the initial support they need to respond to firearms threats and keep our schools and communities safe,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins of GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress. “Despite Gov. Sununu signing into law a prohibition on cooperation or enforcement of federal firearms laws, the interim guidance by the State of New Hampshire and the NH Department of Education still directs state and local police and school staff to act swiftly in the presence of firearms. This is a relief to countless Granite Staters, who read the law and understood the very grave danger it posed to public safety. Under Governor Sununu and the radical right members of the state legislature, our public safety laws have been weakened tenfold. This interim guidance is an indication that those extreme views are far too dangerous to be fully implemented without putting our schools and communities at risk.”

GunSense NH notes that though the interim guidance provides hope for the public safety of Granite Staters, it also contains omissions and errors which may lead to further confusion:

  • The Interim Guidance is in conflict with the law as written, and provides conflicting guidance. HB 1178 (Chapter 258:1) states no person acting under the color of state, county, or municipal law may “enforce, administer, or cooperate with any law, act, rule, order, or regulation” of the federal law unless it is also in state law. In the interim guidance, the AG and NH Department of Education state: “Local and state law enforcement officers are empowered to respond to, investigate, and take action with respect to any potential threat to schools pursuant to their authority under the New Hampshire Criminal Code. The passage of HB 1178 does not alter this.”
  • Elsewhere, the Interim Guidance indicates state and local police cannot enforce federal laws to prevent guns in schools, leaving a major question about whether armed individuals are legally allowed to roam K-12 schools, disrupting learning and posing a threat. The interim guidance affirms both that “members of the public or school employees have always had the ability to contact state or local law enforcement if they perceive a threat … and state and local law enforcement have always had the authority to respond to such calls. This authority has not changed with the passage of HB 1178.” However, elsewhere the guidance asserts that “As our Office has previously advised, state and local officials generally do not possess the authority to enforce federal firearms laws, including the Gun Free Schools Act (sic), and that has not changed with the passage of HB 1178.”
  • The Interim Guidance letter mistakenly indicates that state and local police cannot enforce the Gun Free Schools Act, which is in federal and state law. The Gun Free Schools Act is a federal law also contained in N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193-D:2 which prevents students from bringing firearms to campus. The federal Gun Free School Zones Act (not the Gun Free Schools Act) prohibits unlicensed individuals from bringing firearms into K-12 schools. There is no state equivalent law, and Gov. Sununu vetoed a bill which would have closed this gap. HB 1178, as written, prohibits state and local police and schools from enforcing the federal Gun Free School Zones Act. The Gun Free Schools Act should still be enforced under existing state law.

“While we are thankful that front line responders are being told to act, the interim guidance raises just as many questions as before, if not more, about what that means,” Rice Hawkins said. “This puts our responders and our community at risk when they have to make these decisions mid-crisis. We demand that the Sununu Administration urgently provide detailed guidance so that our law enforcement, school officials, and members of the public have a clear understanding of how this extreme law is being applied in New Hampshire. It is outrageous that Governor Sununu signed this bill into law without having a full understanding of its scope and a plan for how it would be implemented. Sununu had no other reason except for partisan political purposes to sign it when he did.”

Background: As written, HB 1178 prohibits the State of New Hampshire, counties, towns, and schools from enforcing or even cooperating with any federal law, rule, regulation, or executive order regarding firearms and knives unless it is also in state law. This leaves our schools and communities dangerously vulnerable and increases the risk of tragedy. New Hampshire already has several major gaps between federal and state firearms laws, including those around gun free schools and domestic violence protections. As signed into law, HB 1178 applies to any current federal laws, regulations, rules, or executive orders, as well as any in the future. It jeopardizes federal, state, and local collaboration and sends a dangerous message to criminals that New Hampshire does not enforce federal gun laws.