Libertarian NH Senate Candidate’s Letter to “School Choice for NH”

Logo for School Choice for New Hampshire

Logo for School Choice for New Hampshire

As you may be aware, I’m the Libertarian candidate on the ballot for NH Senate District 10.  Today I received a letter from “School Choice for NH” inviting me to send a statement to their members that they say will be published unedited. Since I’ve been posting all my replies to candidate inquiries from organizations online, here is my letter to the supporters of School Choice for NH:

Dear Supporters of School Choice for NH,

 

As a libertarian, I believe in choices. Real school choice isn’t just choosing where to direct some tax money, which is typically what is considered “school choice” when talked about politically. Real school choice is being able to choose whether or not to support the government’s “education” programs entirely.

 

Government forces you to pay for its awful monopoly system, even if you want to unschool, homeschool, or send your children to private school. If you don’t pay their school taxes, the people calling themselves “the State of New Hampshire” will steal your home from you.

 

The best solution for real school choice is to end the government’s monopoly control of education. Let the current staff have ownership stakes in their schools and have to raise their operating money through consensual, voluntary means like charging tuition, holding fundraisers, or whatever peaceful means. Allow parents to decide whether to fund or not fund those schools.

 

Freedom means the ability choose to say no. Please vote Libertarian this November.

 

Thank you for reading and for your consideration,
Ian Freeman
Libertarian Candidate for NH Senate District 10

NH Libertarian Senate Candidate’s Response to NEA Questionnaire on Education

National Education Association - New Hampshire

National Education Association – New Hampshire

Hello, I’m Ian Freeman. As you may know by now, I filed last month to run as a Libertarian for NH Senate district 10 (the Keene area). As with my previous campaigns, I’m not accepting campaign contributions though I will certainly accept media requests and fill out candidate questionnaires sent by various interest groups from across NH and beyond.

Additionally, I’ll be posting those filled-out questionnaires online for everyone to see. Starting with the first one I’ve received and just mailed back today, to the National Education Association of New Hampshire (NEA-NH). Click for PDF.

I’ll also use these posts as an opportunity to state my position in much-easier-to-read text on the various issues raised by the interest groups. So, here’s a summary of what I said to them regarding education:

The problems with public education today aren’t the people running the system. They are good people who genuinely want to help educate the youth and are doing their best under the circumstances. The problem with the system is that it is “public”, meaning government-run and funded through coercive taxation.

Government schools, whether they be standard or charter are never going to rise to the level of quality they could reach if they were self-owning competitors in a free market in education. Instead, because of the one-system-fits-all structure of the government schools, everyone is brought down to the lowest common denominator and there are constant public fights between interest groups and political parties over how the money is to be spent. The NEA questionnaire brings up multiple issues that people are frequently warring over including pensions, charter schools, and vouchers. None of these things would be an issue in a free market in education. People could just choose to support the school models they like. No need for fighting with your neighbors.

The school people are good, but the system sucks.

The school people are good, but the system sucks.

I’ve proposed this before locally on a talk show and was told by the host (a former city councilor, Cynthia Georgina) that it would be great, but that it can’t happen.

Well, why not? Just because government schools have existed in our lifetimes and have been funded through taxes doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. Change your beliefs, and you’ll change reality.

How do we get from here – where education is provided by the slow, expensive monopoly on violence known as the State of New Hampshire – to the free market in education where a thousand ideas can bloom without any coercion?

In order to create as much of a win-win transition to the market as possible, I propose each government school be turned into a self-owning, market-based school with shares of ownership distributed to all current and retired school staff. This would set the schools free to determine their own future. They figure out funding, retirement, rules, curriculum, etc. If they fail, they can sell off their assets, like anyone else who fails in the market. If they succeed, they’ll do that by satisfying their customers. Anyone who doesn’t like their educational model would just choose to send their child elsewhere. (more…)

Keene School Deliberative Session. Lowest attendance on record

Coverage of the Keene school district’s First Session held February 10th, 2018, filmed and produced by CheshireTV.

Here is a write-up by the Keene Sentinel:

After a sparsely attended deliberative session Saturday, two petition warrant articles will go onto the Keene School District’s ballot with significant amendments.

A range of other proposals, including a collective bargaining agreement for principals and supervisors and appropriations for building maintenance and special education reserve funds, will appear on the ballot as proposed.

Though 77 registered voters attended the session — about 0.4 percent of the district’s 17,855 registered voters — a few vocal individuals seemed to dominate discussion Saturday morning.

Early in the meeting, two amendments to the district’s $66,661,091 operating budget were proposed, but ultimately voted down. The proposed budget is up 0.6 percent from the $66,150,293 budget voters approved last year.

The first amendment, proposed by Keene resident and former Keene High football coach John Luopa, would have added $311,425 to the operating budget, with the funds intended for step increases for teachers.

The Keene Board of Education and the teachers union failed to reach a new contract agreement this year, and in the absence of a new agreement, the previous teachers contract reached four years ago will remain in effect beyond its set expiration, on June 30.

A few board members, including Kris Roberts, George Downing and Susan Hay, opposed the amendment, noting that any potential step increase should ideally be reached through a collective bargaining process.

Downing also clarified that though voters have the power to add funds to the proposed budget at the deliberative session, they don’t have the power to restrict what those funds would be used for.

On a secret ballot vote, the amendment failed, 40-18.

A second amendment to the operating budget was proposed by Conan Salada, a Keene resident and former candidate for state representative and Keene City Council, to decrease the operating budget by $410,796, to match the previous operating budget. Salada argued that the district’s spending per student is too high.

“It shouldn’t cost that much to educate our youth for what is basically daycare. The amount of money being spent, a quarter million dollars for the life of a kid, we should be turning out engineers, rocket scientists, doctors,” Salada said. “And yet half of these kids probably couldn’t pass an entrance exam in the local college.” (more…)

2017 Legislative Session Recap

Before the 2017 Legislative Session began, Liberty Lobby LLC CEO Darryl W Perry began identifying bills of interest. This was initially done based solely on the titles of the Legislative Service Requests (LSRs), which are made public shortly after being filed. The text of the LSRs are then made available once the wording is finalized and has a signature from the sponsor. Not every LSR gets a bill number; a Representative or Senator can ask to withdraw the LSR. This often happens if there are multiple LSRs on the same topic with the same objective, or if the sponsor learns there is little chance of passage.

Of the LSRs marked as “of interest” by Liberty Lobby LLC, 39 were withdrawn before the text became available. Another 3 were withdrawn after the bill text became available, but before being assigned to a committee. Once committee hearing began in January, bills could not be withdrawn. However, the sponsor of SB82 (relative to labeling for maple syrup) requested the bill be deemed “Inexpedient to Legislate,” and the public hearing lasted less than one minute.

Click here to read the full recap of the 2017 Legislative Session.