5/19/20 NH Alliance Statement — Councilor Pignatelli’s attack on Public Charter Schools

Councilor Pignatelli’s comments on 5/17/20 referencing federal emergency funding contained within the CARES Act and the appropriateness of public charter schools receiving a share of these funds were “ignorant and highly offensive to our teachers, parents and students”, said NH Alliance President Matt Southerton.

The health, safety and well-being of our students and teachers is our highest priority. The emergency funding for public schools contained within the CARES Act is to be distributed to states based on the state’s share of ESEA Title I-A funds and is guaranteed by law.

These federal funds will be used by charter schools and school districts for coronavirus-response activities, such as planning for and coordinating during long-term school closures, purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students, and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws.

Councilor Pignatelli’s remarks were only the latest in a series of attacks on New Hampshire charter schools. These include attacks by fellow council members and the recent, highly partisan decision by State Legislative Fiscal Committee Democrats to reject $46 million dollars in federal funds awarded to our state for public schools.

“The unprecedented level of hostility exhibited toward charter schools by Democratic members of the Executive Council and Legislative Fiscal Committee harms New Hampshire teachers, our students and diminishes our state in the eyes of the rest of country”, said NH Alliance President Matt Southerton.

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