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Statement of the NH SCHOOL FUNDING FAIRNESS PROJECT on the ConVal court decision

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The Cheshire County Superior Court has denied the request for a preliminary injunction in the legal case filed by ConVal School District and joined by several other school districts. We agree with the goal of the ConVal lawsuit: requiring the state to comply with its constitutional responsibility to provide students across NH with an opportunity for an adequate education supported by taxes that are reasonable and proportional. And we share their frustration about the State’s failure to live up to this duty over the past two decades.

For nearly one year we have been working in good faith with large groups of legislators, school districts, and community leaders from across the state to produce a legislative approach during the current legislative session that will immediately address the worst inequities in the current system, and in the long term result in fair and full funding of our public schools. There are multiple bills in both House and Senate which would begin to achieve these goals.

Like ConVal, we also want to see the State make an honest calculation of what is the true cost of an adequate education. We support legislation to create an independent Commission to do just that.

It is up to the Legislature and the Governor to act responsibly and expeditiously to address school funding during this legislative session. If they do not do so, many school districts, property taxpayers, and parents may turn to the courts to try to bring the State into compliance with its constitutional obligations.

For further information, please contact:

John Tobin at 603-568-0735 or jtobinjr@comcast.net, or

Doug Hall at 603-229-2598 or doughallnh@comcast.net


2 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    We’re in a budget year. What do we gain by studying rather than demanding that the legislature fix the decades-old problem immediately? Why isn’t the NHSFFP demanding an immediate increase to $10K at the same time a commission is funded? We know that the state fails when “it provides” $3,646 per child in adequacy aid. Based on real-life calculations by District administrators, we know that providing the absolute minimum education can’t cost less than ~$10,500 per pupil. The range of actual spending is $12,024 .. $42,810, with a $15,865 average. If I were in Berlin or ConVal, or the taxpayers in any of the 77% of districts with below average property value per student, I’d see a study as a stalling tactic. I know it’s not a stalling tactic, but I’d still like to know what’s gained by studying first.

    • ANHPE says:

      Not speaking for the Project, I’d observe that they worked hard to double adequacy this year. If it doesn’t happen, it won’t be because the Project did not make it a priority.

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