Andrus’ June “Report from Concord” Purports to be Something It’s Not

By Marie D. Nardino

Under the guise of a question from a constituent about her vote in the House Education Committee to retain SB135, Louise Andrus issued her Report from Merrimack Valley School District (MVSD) embedded in her “Report from Concord”  for June, wherein she justified the retention of a piece of legislation intended to provide increased education funding by opining that (a) New Hampshire has received three allocations of federal funds totaling approximately $428,907,847; (b) she doesn’t know how many New Hampshire children actually attend public schools; and (c) she believes that schools should be funded based on education performance.  

She then proceeds to quote from her statements presented at a MVSD board meeting in June.  The thrust of her presentation was, what I perceive as, her extreme reaction to the board’s May discussion of HB2, a provision of which prohibits discussion of “divisive concepts” in schools. This concept was originally included in HB544, which was not voted upon in the House but, somehow, the “divisive concepts” language made its way into HB2, the New Hampshire Budget, which was thereafter signed by the Governor.

Andrus’ Report from MVSD represents the current thinking, from my point of view, of an extreme right-wing Republican ideological force that has made its way into New Hampshire and into New Hampshire government.  She is entitled to what I believe is a misinformed and dangerous opinion, I suppose.  

However, I, as her constituent, as a taxpayer who believes very much in the fair funding of public education, and as a reader of The Andover Beacon, am entitled to a “Report from Concord” that contains some semblance of reality when purporting to answer a question from a constituent.

I believe that Louise Andrus misrepresented reality when answering her constituent’s question  because the federal funds New Hampshire received are dedicated funds, to be used for the purpose of mitigating the effects of COVID-19, and these funds will not be used to relieve the tax burden of her constituents.

I believe that there is a correlation between adequate education funding and education performance; therefore it seems to me that an increase in funding will likely contribute to an improvement in performance.

Finally, I believe that teaching and learning historical truth, rather than a whitewashed version of history, will, in the end, lead us all to pursue and attain the country that our founders’ intended.

To paraphrase Louise Andrus’ question to the MVSD school board: how do you justify, condone, and uphold, what I feel is extremist ideology and propaganda to your constituents in Merrimack District 1?

Marie D. Nardino