A House amendment that would provide $20 million to public schools was rejected by the house last week.

Proponents of House Bill 3400 seemed to make a good case. They said that many textbooks are outdated, falling apart or have to be shared by two students. At first glance, many of us would be shocked at such at outrage. What is more basic to education than textbooks.

The new funding would pay for educational materials, textbooks, lab equipment, computers and other learning materials and physical safety improvements.

While all of these items seem to be integral to a child's education, those key items should already be provided for, given the billions of dollars spent on education.

Any school district that complains of outdated and falling apart textbooks should take a look at those charged with allocating the funds.

Our local state reps were split on the matter. Jen Benson, Democrat from Lunenburg, said no to the $20 million. Groton Republican Sheila Harrington said yes. The majority vote reflected the opinion that schools receive considerable unrestricted funding, plenty to pay for the stated purposes, and the extra funding isn't available.

A measure included on the Judiciary Committee's agenda would require local police departments to notify any "immediate abutting neighbor" that a Level 2 sex offender lives next door. It would prohibit rapists from having parental rights to any child born as a result of the rape.


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And it adds computer technicians to the current list of professionals required to report instances of the abuse, sexual abuse or neglect of a child under 18. The current list of mandated reporters includes doctors and medical personnel, teachers and educational personnel, police officers, firefighters and many human service professionals.

We agree with all of the above.

That we must even create a law prohibiting rapists from having parental rights to a child born as a result of rape is outrageous.

It should be a no-brainer.