In late May Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 1744 into law to empower families with the ability to refuse their children’s participation in statewide assessments. It was a multi-year effort and it finally crossed the finish line. It goes into effect as of July 24, 2018.
This bill had three rounds before: HB 276 (2017) that died in the Senate, as well as HB 1338 (2016) and HB 603 (2015) that were vetoed by Gov. Hassan. This year it had a new set of sponsors including Rep. Victoria Sullivan, Rep Brenda Willis, Rep. Glenn Cordelli, Rep. Kevin Verville, Rep. Lisa Freeman, Sen. John Reagan, and Sen. William Gannon to shepherd it through the legislative process. While it remained a partisan issue, the law passed the House in a voice vote and the Senate in a 14 to 10 roll call vote.
While school districts are required to administer statewide assessments, it explicitly says students are not compelled to participate. Schools may have lower participation rates but are otherwise not penalized. Schools must provide an alternative educational activity during testing time that is agreed upon by the parents or legal guardians.