Here are all the court documents so far, and highlights from the NHPR report:
In a move that surprised many education funding advocates, the ConVal School District in southwestern New Hampshire filed a lawsuit today against the state, claiming lawmakers have failed to fund an adequate education.
The complaint names the state of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Department of Education, Governor Sununu and DOE Commissioner Frank Edelblut as defendants.
It says the “adequacy aid” that the state sends to districts needs to triple to meet basic requirements laid out in state law.
The complaint references a series of New Hampshire Supreme Court decisions from the 1990s called the Claremont cases. These spanned seven years and had 18 lawyers working on behalf of property-poor school districts.
In the end, the court said New Hampshire needed to fund an adequate education with fair and equitable taxation…..
The lawsuit says the current price tag for a base “adequate education” — $3,636.06 — does not reflect accurate costs for facilities, transportation, and teacher salaries and benefits….
By ConVal’s calculation, the state should pay $10,343.60 per student, which would total over $22 million per year.
Micheal Tierney, ConVal’s attorney, says he did not confer with attorneys or districts that were involved in the Claremont lawsuits, but the court’s decision on this lawsuit could have sweeping effects.
“Many of the arguments that Conval is making would be applicable to many school districts across the state.”….
Carl Ladd, the executive director of the N.H. School Administrators Association, says he worries about the lawsuit’s timing.
“I can really sympathize with school board and community, but the courts aren’t going to be a quick fix,” he says. “My fear is that if this is back in court, the legislature will just wait and not do anything.”….