ED306 Proposed Revisions

Andrew Cline
Chair, NH State Board of Education
[email protected]

Frank Edelblut
Commissioner, NH DOE
[email protected]

Fred Bramante
Chair, Committee to Revise 306 Rules
[email protected]

I am providing you with a working copy of the concerns and recommendations that surfaced during and after the presentation of the proposed changes to the ED306 Rules in Keene on May 11, 2023. This was done by adding an additional column to the “side-by-side” document that has circulated throughout the state and is currently available on the department’s website.

Some of the feedback was collected in a survey format and the raw data is also included (Linked Here) for your review as well. In order to be fully transparent, this document will be shared with our community stakeholders as well. I have committed to our folks to compile their input and to ensure we have documented it.
During the presentation we had just under 100 participants combined in person and viewing the live stream. More than half of the participants were in person. Some of this feedback was shared immediately following the session with the team that was present on that evening. Some of the feedback will be the first time they have seen it. Regardless of that, I have observed the team as being receptive to input and considerate of how to best move forward.
1. Process
2. Proposal
3. Moving Forward

The Process: It is hard to argue that the process to date is without flaw. Two years of work in isolation by a committee that omitted critical participation and complete transparency screams extreme caution now. The State Board of Education correctly put on the brakes to slow the glaringly obvious missteps down by not entering rulemaking as was anticipated in April. However, there continues to exist the belief that the current “listening sessions” will not amount to anything more than just a check in the box to say it was done. This is a significant problem.
The Proposal: The proposed changes did a tremendous job of organizing the 306 expectations into a more coherent manner that makes sense and creates a better flow for understanding. The 306 rules do need updating and many of the recommendations in the proposed changes are commendable. However, there exists ambiguities, inconsistencies, omissions and insertions that again, are pause for concern, throughout the proposal. In turn, this will yield to confusion for districts around the state upon implementation, most notably around equity and fairness for all students. There are also hints of highly politicized legislation that has failed to pass, sprinkled throughout the proposal such as school choice and education freedom accounts as well as the parental bill of rights. Political agendas should be removed from the proposal.
Moving Forward: The biggest obstacle moving forward is strengthening trust. It is an unfortunate reality that party agendas have compromised the integrity of an institution that has long held the trust of the public, but it is the reality. Our feedback is NOT intended to prevent change. Our intent is to ensure that when change does happen, it considers the full magnitude of its effect on the people that we serve and adapts accordingly. We recognize that changes of any type will have both positive and negative perceptions from those that are impacted. It is our duty to consider all of those perceptions prior to and during the decision-making process.
If the goal is to create the best possible rules for our schools, our students, our staff and our state, then there must be a shift in the process immediately. The 306 Task Force has completed what they were contracted to do, BUT, the process is not complete. The “listening tour” is a step in the right direction, but there is no transparent measure in place to openly vet the input and feedback that is being submitted. Here are the steps that need immediate consideration and action:
1. Reconstitute the 306 Task Force - The new membership should include some members that have been on the committee from the beginning, but absolutely must include, at the minimum:
a. Current practicing and certified classroom teachers
b. Current practicing and certified administrators at both the building and district level
c. Current elected school board members
d. Current students
e. Current parents

2. Increase Transparency - Learn from the missteps of yesterday. Create broader awareness of what is happening and when.
a. Post agendas and minutes
b. Post drafts
c. Create an open and accessible question and answer document and post it
d. Share all of the feedback collected from the “listening tour” publicly
e. Post a timeline
3. Above all, DO NOT politicize public education. The biggest reward for educators is observing students reach their full potential. The innocence in that one silver lining is what we have. Using our children as pawns for ulterior reasons is shameful and unethical at best. Allow the professionals to be the experts, support them and applaud them for their efforts.

It is our belief that the rules do need to be updated and reflect best practices and what we value, as a state, for the fundamental right of education for our children. I have put forth a recommendation to the Chair of the Task Force to include a current practicing and certified teacher. I know that he has reached out to the teacher that I recommended. Additionally, I would like to offer my assistance with this effort moving forward as you feel may be appropriate. This is our opportunity to make the State of New Hampshire the envy of the country because we did it right!

Yours in Education,


Robert Malay
Superintendent of Schools
SAU 29
[email protected]