Joe Pitre

The thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the world is that they will die on their feet rather than live on their knees.

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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero , 55 BC. We haven't learned a lot in 2071 years!

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Guns and the Safety of our Citizens,  Especially our Students

Debate Speech here-A reasonable point of view - Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas Speech on Floor of House of Delegates

Delegate Freitas served two combat tours in Iraq in the Army Special Forces

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Senate Bill 193, Education Savings Account Bill 

Amendment proposed by House Finance Committee

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Breaking Down New Hampshire’s ESA Bill, SB 193

 House Education Committee Version

We broke down the Granite State’s ESA bill, SB 193, so you don’t have to.

Jason Bedrick, M.P.P.

Director of Policy, EdChoice

Michael Shaw

Research Assistant

Last year, New Hampshire legislators introduced a bill to create Education Freedom Savings Accounts. The New Hampshire Senate passed a version of SB 193 that would set up an education savings account (ESA) program that is open to all public and homeschooled K–12 students in the Granite State.

That would be a vast upgrade from New Hampshire’s income-based tax-credit scholarship program, and the result would be a nearly universal educational choice program!

The New Hampshire House Education Committee, however, recommended a considerably scaled-down version of the bill, which the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed last month by a vote on 184-162. Although not as ambitious as the New Hampshire Senate version, the New Hampshire House version would still make significant progress toward providing all Granite Staters with educational choice. The bill is currently under consideration in the New Hampshire House Finance Committee.

The potential program would operate in a similar fashion to ESAs in other states. Here’s how the New Hampshire House Education version of the ESA program would work:

Student Eligibility

Students must be residents of the state who are at least 5 years old but not older than 20 and have not graduated from high school. To enroll in the ESA program for the first time, students must also be currently attending a public school, including a charter school, or be incoming kindergarten students and must meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) have an annual household income less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, (2) be assigned to a district school that, for at least two consecutive years, has been deemed by the state to have been “unable to demonstrate that it provides the opportunity for an adequate education” as defined by state law, (3) have an individualized education plan (IEP) or accommodation plan under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or (4) who applied to and was not admitted to a charter school or who applied for but did not receive a tax-credit scholarship under the state’s education tax credit law.

Although significantly scaled back relative to the New Hampshire Senate’s universal eligibility, the New Hampshire House Education Committee’s version of SB 193 would still likely make more than half of New Hampshire families eligible. The median household income in New Hampshire is $76,260, which is just above 300 percent of the federal poverty line for 2018 for a family of four ($75,300). In addition, students in the latter three categories, such as those with special needs, are exempt from the income limits.

Broad eligibility is important to create a critical mass of ESA students over time that will encourage education entrepreneurs to provide new and innovating ways of meeting students’ learning needs. Programs limited to small populations, such as students eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, tend only to fill empty seats at existing private schools but don’t do much to encourage innovation or even the expansion of existing options.

Student Funding

Accounts may be worth 95 percent (50 percent for incoming kindergarteners) of the state’s per-pupil funding amount plus differentiated aid. For the 2017-18 school year, New Hampshire’s base “adequacy” funding is $3,636 per pupil. Differentiated aid includes $1,818 for low-income students (those eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch), $1,956 for students with special needs, and $711 for English Language Learners. The typical low-income ESA student would, therefore, receive about $5,450 annually and a low-income student with special needs would receive more than $7,400.

According to Private School Review, the average private elementary school tuition is about $8,900, although 29 schools charge less than $15,000 per year and 15 schools charge less than $6,000. Excluding elite boarding schools and schools dedicated to special education, the average private high school tuition is about $7,560, with some charging as little as $1,525.

In other words, although the typical ESA student would receive only about one-fifth of the $18,216 that New Hampshire district schools spend per pupil, on average, the funding level would still put a wide variety of educational options within reach of the average Granite State family.

Allowable Uses

Funds may be used to pay for:

Tuition and fees at an eligible in-state public district, charter or private school

Online learning programs

Textbooks, curriculum or other instructional materials

Tutoring services

In-state community college costs

In-state higher education expenses

Fees for testing, including nationally norm-referenced tests, AP exams and college placement exams

Services for special needs students, including educational therapy

Transportation (up to $750 per year)

Any unused funds still left in an account at the end of the school year may be rolled over to the next school year, which can continue until a student moves out of state, graduates from college or two years after they graduate from high school if they do not enroll in college.


Parents must sign a contract agreeing to provide an education for their student in science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, the history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States and an exposure to and appreciation of art and music. ESA students must take either the statewide assessment test or a national norm-referenced test. The results of these tests are to be submitted to the scholarship organization administering the ESA program, which then reports the aggregate results to the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education.

ESA-granting organizations must conduct an annual parental satisfaction survey, submit both biannual and annual reports, and undergo an annual audit, but participating schools and educational service providers need only furnish receipts to parents and ESA-granting organizations.

What the Research Says

New Hampshire voters are very supportive of expanding educational choice, and for good reason. These programs are constitutional and fiscally responsible ways to help families provide their children with an education that’s the right fit for their individual learning needs—and parents exercising these options are highly satisfied.

In addition to charter schools, New Hampshire already has two school choice programs—a tax-credit scholarship and a town tuitioning voucher program. A 2017 EdChoice poll found most New Hampshire voters are not familiar with the various school choice options that the state provides (or is considering adopting) …

… but they are strongly supportive of them when informed about them.

Support was especially high among New Hampshire school parents, who expressed strong support for ESAs (71 percent) and tax-credit scholarships (66 percent). It’s no wonder that parents of school-aged children are the most supportive of choice, given the high level of satisfaction among scholarship families.

The state’s Education Tax Credit Program was launched 2013. It has 332 students and 51 schools participating, according to the most recent data, with an average scholarship value of $2,148. Each year, the state’s two scholarship-granting organizations must submit reports to New Hampshire’s department of revenue. Somewhat unique to New Hampshire, these reports detail parental satisfaction with the program (see page 3 here and here).

These reports show parents are tremendously satisfied.

In 2017, 93 percent reported being satisfied or strongly satisfied with the school their children were attending using tax-credit scholarships. A similar figure (91 percent) said their children had “seen a measurable improvement in academic achievement” due to the scholarships. It is worth nothing that 84 percent of families would have been unable to send their children to the schools of their choice had it not been for tax-credit scholarships.

Although the legislature clarified the legality of town tuitioning last year, a recent report from the Granite Institute shows that the practice of towns using public funds to support resident children at private schools dates at least as far back as 1792.

In conjunction with EdChoice, the Granite Institute also published a primer on ESAs. Additionally, the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy published a fiscal analysis of the New Hampshire Senate version of SB 193, which finds that if 1 percent of students left their district schools to accept an ESA, the districts would keep more than 99.8 percent of their budgets. The Josiah Bartlett Center also teamed with the Institute for Justice to publish a legal analysis that explains why a publicly funded ESA would pass constitutional muster in New Hampshire.

Finally, be on the lookout for an upcoming EdChoice survey of New Hampshire private schools. It will explore enrollment and capacity information, familiarity with the tax-credit scholarship program, regulatory concerns and openness to the possible education savings account program, among other issues facing private schools in the Granite State.

New Hampshire has the opportunity to lead the nation in expanding personalized learning options to a wide swath of students. As we at EdChoice have stated before: it’s time for all New Hampshire families to live free and choose their children’s education.

Director of Policy, EdChoice

Jason Bedrick, M.P.P.

Director of Policy, EdChoice

Jason Bedrick is director of policy for EdChoice. Previously, he was policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He also served as a legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was an education policy research fellow at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.

Joshua Bartlett Center Report answers questions:

Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) will not decimate public school budgets, a report released today by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy shows. In fact, even using a high average cost for each ESA and a high ESA take up rate of 5 percent, the report shows that every school district in New Hampshire would keep more than 98 percent of its operating budget. More.......




Who Won the Math Wars?

Nicholas Tampio

Articles to Ponder

Let Us Stamp OutPoverty You Say??


For the Concord Monitor

Saturday, July 08, 2017

There are a lot of ways we could help poor people. We could cut their taxes. We could cut taxes on people that hire them. We could let them go to schools of their choice, instead of forcing them into dropout mills that will label them for life as “failures.” "read more"

Increase Taxes to Increase Government Revenue?

Successful Alternative Learning: ​

Meet the MET Schools of Rhode Island

School Choice Innovation


Jeb Bush: Let’s leave education decisions up to New Hampshire families

Jeb Bush: Let’s leave education decisions up to New Hampshire families



For the Monitor

Thursday, April 06, 2017


Since our nation was founded, the “Live Free or Die’’ state has stood out for its embrace of individual liberty. This makes pending legislation that would set up Education Freedom Savings Accounts a natural fit for New Hampshire families.

The first two words here are key: Education Freedom.

The current, outdated model of public education is based on funding government bureaucracies that in turn make decisions best left to families, such as decisions on where kids will go to school and what classes they can take.

The proposed accounts would instead fund students directly and let parents make those decisions. If for whatever reason a public school isn’t working for their child, they can find a better fit in another school. They also can access the funds for online classes, tutors, and supplies. Or if they are the parents of a student with disabilities, they can use the funds for approved therapies critical to their child’s development.

These accounts are an acknowledgment that parents, not government institutions, are the best decision makers for children. They love them the most, know them the best and are the ones most vested in their future success. And therefore, they should be given the freedom and resources to pursue the right education options for them.

This legislation is not an attack on public schools. It simply is an acknowledgment that kids are unique individuals and one size does not fit all. Nor will this legislation hurt public schools. In fact, a large body of research, including that done in my home state of Florida, indicates quite the opposite. When public schools face increased competition, they get better and kids learn more. Education Freedom Savings Accounts not only would benefit the children whose parents take advantage of them, but also the children who remain in their traditional public schools.

The approach was first introduced in Arizona in 2011, focused on the parents of students with disabilities. In subsequent years, the program was expanded to include students zoned in low-performing schools, the students of military personnel and students living on Native American lands. Based on their success, Arizona lawmakers are now considering making them available to every student.

Other states have taken notice. Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and Nevada all have approved versions of the program, each with its own eligibility requirements. In 2015, Nevada became the first state to make the accounts available to all parents. I encourage New Hampshire to follow suit.

Empowering parents with the freedom to choose encourages positive change because the right to educate their children no longer can be taken for granted. It must be earned. I commend state Sen. John Reagan, state Reps. Joseph Pitre and Glenn Cordelli for introducing this legislation, and Gov. Chris Sununu, who has been a passionate advocate for school choice.

The issue boils down to this: Do we trust mom and dad, or not?

(Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, is founder, president and chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.)

NH Political Buzz called and wanted to know what was said in the House Education Committee Meeting on June 9.  The link above accurately accounts for what I said and the astonishment of all the Education Committee members that were present.


 In October 2011, I attended a Northeast Regional conference sponsored by Council of State Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and were focusing on Common Core State Standards. As a side note, the concept of the Met School was presented by the conference with two students of the program explaining their success. The young man, who was autistic(Asperger's syndrome) was mentoring with a civil engineer as part of his individual education plan. He explained how the family plays an integral role in the educational process of their children. Parents are members of the learning plan team (along with the student, an advisor, and the mentor) and help design their child’s curriculum. As panelists at a student’s exhibition, parents are also involved in assessing their child’s work. He was proud to have recently submitted a patent for his invention, but could not divulge the invention. 

     Another student had quit school and went to Haiti to visit family. During her visit, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. The level of injuries overwhelmed hospitals and calls to the public for volunteers were made. This young lady volunteered to care for the injured and found her calling for nursing. She returned to Newport and was accepted in the local MET School with a plan for an eventual nursing degree. Salva Regina College mentored her which co-op her skills within their hospital facilities.

There is no direct teaching in the conventional classroom with the MET Program. The student agrees to do required reading etc with guidance from their education team.  The Met design had been scaled up to a network of more that 65 Big Picture schools across 16 states, and more than 80 schools internationally.  This is a great example of how school choice can benefit children and lead to productive meaningful lives.

Is This Accurate Reporting by Foster's Daily Democrat?

Read the story above on Democrats Tweet etc and compare.

Farmington state rep says he’s not racist

State Rep. Joe Pitre of Farmington

By Kyle Stucker [email protected]

Posted Jun 16, 2017 at 2:15 PMUpdated Jun 16, 2017 at 2:15 PM

FARMINGTON — A Farmington state representative says allegations that he made racist remarks during a House Education Committee session are “ridiculous” and categorically false.

Rep. Joe Pitre, R-Farmington, came under fire on social media after a June 9 committee debate on school voucher legislation. Public education advocacy group Reaching Higher New Hampshire tweeted during that session that Pitre claimed the proposal, Senate Bill 193, could be funded using the money spent on “black children and Latinos.”

Pitre was emphatic during a phone call with Foster’s Daily Democrat on Thursday that he made no such statement during the June 9 discussion. Pitre also insisted to Foster’s that he isn’t racist.

“It’s unfair and it hurts because I am an advocate for all kids,” said Pitre, 71. “It doesn’t matter to me what color your skin is.”

No transcript of the session exists. Robin deAlmeida, the communications director for Reaching Higher New Hampshire, couldn’t be reached for comment despite multiple attempts on Monday and Thursday. Reaching Higher New Hampshire’s Twitter account doesn’t provide additional context about Pitre’s alleged statement.

Jim Rivers, the House communications director, said the matter is a nonstory and that Pitre “absolutely” did not make those alleged comments.

The Legislative Administration Committee recently reviewed two state representatives — Republican Robert Fisher, of Laconia, and Democrat Sherry Frost, of Dover — due to comments they made on social media. Rivers said Pitre is not under review by the committee, nor have any complaints and issues been voiced to any committee about Pitre.

Other members of the House Education Committee couldn’t be reached for comment this week, although one of its members, Rep. Victoria Sullivan, R-Manchester, issued a statement on Twitter on June 9 in which she also denies Pitre made any racist remarks.

“No one in committee found Rep. Pitre’s statement to be racist, and were stunned that his comments were misrepresented in this fashion,” Sullivan wrote in her statement.

Pitre claims his actual June 9 statement was in relation to the fact that studies since the 1960s have shown, on average, that there is an education gap between children in minority groups and white children.

Pitre claims he outlined that individuals have spent significant amounts of money at the national level and in cities and states throughout the country in an attempt to close that gap, and that those efforts haven’t been successful.

Pitre told Foster’s he outlined all of this on June 9 because he believes SB 193 would give all families more freedom to choose the best school to allows their children “to reach their maximum potential.”

The June 9 Reaching Higher New Hampshire marked the second time Pitre has been accused of racism on Twitter.

In 2012, Annmarie Timmins, at the time a Concord Monitor reporter, tweeted that Pitre emailed to his House colleagues an altered photo that depicted former President Barack Obama as a pimp and former First Lady Michelle Obama as a prostitute.

On Thursday, Pitre denied having sent such a photo.

“I’m not into this racist business,” he said.

Pitre also shared a number of stories with Foster’s on Thursday which he said illustrated that he isn’t racist.

Pitre said he literally couldn’t recognize the difference between different skin colors while he was growing up. To support that point, Pitre said he didn’t realize one of his classmates, a boy from Jamaica, was black until a friend pointed it out during their 20-year reunion.

Pitre also said he “did not know the difference” between the white and black soldiers while he served in the military for 11 years.

“Matter of fact, I can remember a guy named Boone,” he said. “He was from New York City. One on one, he was fine. When he was with other blacks — you know, that was the ’60s. I understand that.”

Pitre said he only takes issue with someone if they treat him negatively.

“There are some blacks that I like — some I don’t,” he said. “I don’t like some of their traits, some of them. You know, I choose not to be friends with them, but I’ve got white friends the same way. If I don’t like somebody’s attitude, that’s it. Like I said, it’s a mirror.”

Pitre also said the “black folks” for whom he has worked have told him he’s trustworthy and loyal. He also said he’s “seen great progress among some black people” he knows.

“They’re better educated,” he said. “Matter of fact, look at athletes. I mean, they express themselves very, very well — you know, most of them. Back in the old days, they could hardly speak. I remember Connie Hawkins. He was a great basketball player, but he couldn’t express himself.”

In reference to the Latino portion of Reaching Higher New Hampshire’s allegation, Pitre said he would never make such a statement because he has Portuguese heritage, which he said is of “Latino descent.”

He also said he “probably identified” more with Latino friends than white friends growing up because many Latinos are Catholic.

“I wouldn’t slam my own,” said Pitre. 


Endorsements and Ratings

2016 Candidate Summary (here)

 The session began with an attack on our education adequacy which would have been a $1.6 million dollar reduction for our Farmington schools. After intense debate and lobbying in the decrease was 4% of our adequacy stabilization grant and a total $116,000 reduction per year. This is based on the number of pupils in our schools and we have nearly 400 pupils than at past peak, which stabilization monies are based. I have reminded fellow committee members, that I made a promise to you, my constituents and that promise was to hold the line on any new taxes or fees and any downshifting of cost to cities and towns.

Strafford County Delegation:

As a State Representative, we become part of the governing process of Strafford County. I have been also elected to the Executive Committee of and the nearly $60 million budget. I also serve on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee and very instrumental in working on the drug epidemic with the County Attorney, area police chiefs including our own Chief Drury, and county officials.

This is an insight as to what a State Representative for its citizens.

All the best,


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 Valuable Information at the State Representative Website: bill status,

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Joe Pitre 
[email protected]

for the honor of this privilege of sending me on this journey by the voters of Strafford District 2, Farmington in November 2012 and elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives a truly awesome experience. I treasure the trust you have given me.