As a legislator who doesn’t mind putting words together, I try to respond to every constituent letter or message.

And I get quite a few.

I like to write, and I like a personal touch. But when some constituent messages are all worded exactly alike, it somehow removes some of the “personal” affect and effect. Obviously, special interests are mobilizing the troops and telling them exactly what to write. Still, I write back.

A recent case in point involves my peeps imploring me to vote for HB1583, HB1656, and HB1686, measures which will raise school spending by $100 million this year, with another $30 million to follow next year.

My messages to the multiple supplicants were understandably similar, given that their messages were identical.

I’ll share my response here, as some of them may read NHJournal, and as a former teacher, I know that repetition helps with the retention of lessons.

Dear *****

Thanks so much for reaching out.

I’ll reply from my personal email account for your future convenience.

Education has been a big part of my life journey, as I’ve taught in public and parochial high schools, military schools, and at the community college and university levels. I’ve served on a school board as well as on the House Education Committee.

I haven’t reviewed the measures you mention in detail yet because I’m no longer on House Education. I look forward to reading them closely, as well as the committee reports, and to hearing the floor speeches from both sides.

I will say that school funding has never been higher, now exceeding $20,000 per student per year (statewide average). In other words, we’re now spending around a quarter of a million dollars for each and every single public school student during the course of their public education!

And how well is all this money being spent?

Our Loudon property taxes just took another big jump this year, largely due to increased school spending, despite lower standardized test scores and school policies that concern many parents. Why is this?

Candidly, I’m more concerned about accountability and assessment and also about the many families now rejecting public education than about just spending more money.

I’m also concerned about the disastrous and growing progressive influence on education. I fully understand that big budgets mean big salaries and more hiring of folks who’ll vote for progressives and liberal agendas that don’t focus on learning or fundamentals.

With town and school meetings coming up, my hope is that more local folks will be elected who’ll strike a needed balance to better represent taxpayers and all citizens as opposed to special interests seeking to maximize spending. Schoolboards, in particular, have been largely peopled by education establishment types, to the detriment of maintaining broad support for reasonable spending and common-sense education policies.

I look forward to these bills coming to the full House with some subsequent useful discussion and awareness-raising as we try to make sure our dollars are well-spent, and our children are well-educated. Neither is occurring right now, in my humble opinion.

Contact me anytime.