Issues: Public Education

Strengthening Our Schools & Making College Affordable

To build a strong economy and strengthen New Hampshire’s quality of life, it is critical that all kids — no matter which town or family they’re from — must be able to go to great schools and begin a life and career without being crushed by debt. Colin is an education innovator who helped launch the nonprofit College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, where thousands of students are enrolled in accredited degree programs, most debt-free.

To keep improving education and workforce preparedness in New Hampshire, we must:

  • Bring Full-Day Kindergarten to Every Community: Almost half of all five-year-olds in New Hampshire do not have access to full-day public kindergarten. Fully funding universal full-day kindergarten will improve our schools while also helping more working parents fully participate in the workforce.
  • Allow More New Hampshire School Districts to Shift from Heavy Reliance on Standardized Tests to Project-Based Learning (PACE): New Hampshire was the first state in the nation to use educator-designed competency (or ‘project-based’) learning to replace standardized tests in half the grades between grades 4 and 11, in four school districts last year. Colin will work with educators and state and local school boards to lift the restriction that is preventing more school districts from launching PACE pilot programs. This would reduce our reliance on standardized tests while maintaining appropriate learning standards and strengthening education quality for kids at every grade.
  • Fully-Fund the State’s Education Commitments to Local Communities: New Hampshire cannot afford to refuse fast-growing school districts a proportional increase in state funding for their students, as has happened in recent years. Additionally, the state should consider how to reinstitute a more sustainable building aid program to support local building construction projects that are in clear need, prioritizing those with health and safety issues and those in need of new facilities to expand access to new early childhood education programs.
  • Cut College Costs & Student Debt: New Hampshire has the highest in-state tuition and highest level of student debt in the country. Colin will bring costs down by expanding low-cost degree pathways between our University System, Community College System, Career and Technical Education schools, and high school dual-credit programs like Running Start and STEAM Ahead. Colin will work with employers and lawmakers to bring more support and clear accountability measures to our public higher education institutions to ensure that funds are used to help more young people graduate and get good-paying jobs here in New Hampshire. He’ll work to lower in-state tuition, create new pathways to debt-free college, and invest in vocation training so students who don’t chose college get the skills they need for high-end, family-wage jobs in the manufacturing, high-tech, medical services, and other fast-growing employment sectors.


Paid for by Van Ostern for New Hampshire. Debby Butler, Treasurer.
P.O. Box 3931, Manchester, NH 03105 • (603) 232-5538