Last Thursday (sorry for the delay; grandkids took over), the education committee held its public hearing on HB 177, the Rep. Rick Ladd (R, Haverhill, former committee chair) proposal to stop process of reducing the stabilization fund so critical to property poor communities by 4% per year until it is gone. (Garry Reyno puts the stabilization fund in context here and Reaching Higher NH provides great detail here.)
The Facebook stream of the hearing, provided by Reaching Higher NH, is here starting at minute 57 and continued here. You can see great accurate coverage from WMUR here. And in InDepthNH.org (picked up by many other papers as well), Gail Ober reports in detail on the hearing in the context of the larger education funding issue that Andy Volinsky and John Tobin have been discussing across the State over the past 7 months.
The main message running through the testimony last Thursday was that since the Legislature passed the stabilization elimination bill in 2015, the $20 million property poor communities have already lost is critical. Data presented by researcher Doug Hall showing the impact of communities like Berlin and Manchester reinforced the testimony of many others that the pain already inflicted has led to elimination of important classes like AP and foreign languages and even to school closures and that, while the HB 177 proposal to stop the stabilization fund reductions is welcome and important, the bill should be amended to restore the damaging cuts already made.