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Finally, a Budget!

From NH School Funding Fairness Project’s 9/30/19 Newsletter:

Finally, the Legislature and Governor have reached a budget deal, and there’s a lot to like!  Basically, for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, the Governor agreed to all of the new school funding that was contained in the Committee of Conference budget that passed the Legislature in June.
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A Changing Role for ANHPE

Regular readers will have noticed fewer posts than usual to anhpe.org.  Though in recent years we have actively opposed privatization – statewide school vouchers (SB 193)  and the Learn Everywhere effort to privatize public high school diplomas – and promoted school funding reform, we have basically seen ourselves as supplementing the good information provided by Reaching Higher NH. (more…)

Update On Budget; Important Public Hearing This Thursday!

As you know, Governor Sununu vetoed the legislature’s budget, and the State is now operating under a “continuing resolution,” meaning that last year’s budget remains in effect.  If a new budget is not approved before September 30 (and there’s no indication it will be), the continuing resolution is likely to be extended another 90 days, through December.  

This means that school districts that receive stabilization funds as part of their grant from the State may have to begin budgeting for the 2020/21 school year with yet another 4% cut in those funds, above and beyond the 4% cut they already absorbed this year because of the Governor’s veto.  This is a travesty when the legislature’s budget not only eliminated this year’s cut and future cuts, but also rolled back the similar 4% cuts of prior years and added significant amounts of new school aid for struggling districts. 
 

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Budget Hearing 8/29: Speak Up for Students, Property Taxpayers and Local Businesses!

Public Hearing: The Effect of the Budget Impasse on Education
House and Senate Ad Hoc Budget Committee
Thursday, August 29, 10 a.m. (hold a sign in the hall at 9:30)
Legislative Office Building, rooms 210-211

As you know, on July 1 Governor Sununu vetoed the budget that had been passed by the legislature and that contained significant new aid for school districts and municipalities. Since that date, the State has operated under a “continuing resolution”, meaning that for the most part it continues to be funded in accordance with last year’s budget. That means that another 4% cut to stabilization funding for schools has kicked in (it would have been averted under the new budget) and none of the new school or municipal aid contained in the budget has materialized. As students return to school and property taxpayers look ahead to their next quarterly payments, the budget impasse continues, and communities are paying a heavy price. (more…)

NH School Funding Fairness Project Newsletter 7/22/19

As Summer Sizzles, Let’s Turn Up the Heat on the Budget!

What’s been happening at the State House

There’s still no news on a budget deal between the Governor and legislative leaders, although both sides have been hard at work trying to gather support for their positions.  On July 11, the Governor wrote a letter to all NH select boards, explaining his rationale for vetoing the budget and asking them to send a representative to an informational meeting with him.  That meeting took place last Friday, behind closed doors.  Apparently, some municipal leaders weren’t shy about letting him know the hardships they face due to uncertainty over, and reductions in, state funding.  

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An eloquent reminder of good things happening in our public schools

Sometimes it feels as if public education is under siege.  Lately the education news has been mostly about reductions in school funding and the Education Commissioner’s latest privatization effort, Learn Everywhere.  But it’s important to stop now and then and celebrate all the good things happening in our public schools.  A recent column in the Concord Monitor, by former teacher-of-the-year Heidi Crumrine, did just that.  

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Governor’s Budget Veto Hurts Students and Property Taxpayers

The following was published in the Concord Monitor as a “My Turn” piece on July 10, 2019.

In the wake of the Governor’s veto of the budget bill, many school districts are reeling.  The bill would have given them significant new funding ($138 million across the state), with much of it directed to property-poor or low income communities whose schools and property taxpayers have been pushed to the brink by repeated cuts in state aid. These communities have less valuable property to tax than their property-wealthy counterparts, so they’ve faced a double burden –   they must tax themselves at much higher rates, but even with such sacrifices they are unable to spend as much per pupil. (more…)

As budget talks continue, keep up the pressure for fair school funding!

NH School Funding Fairness Project Newsletter, July 7, 2019

Now that budget negotiations are taking place behind closed doors, there’s no real news to report. However, as the Governor and legislative leaders try to reach a compromise on state spending, it’s important that they continue to hear from voters concerned about the school funding crisis.  Let them know that, even though it’s summer and they’re meeting outside of public view, you’re still paying attention and you expect them to do what’s right for our schools and communities.  Talking points and contact information are below. (more…)

Governor’s Veto Deals Blow to Schools and Property Taxpayers

As you may have heard, on Friday Governor Sununu vetoed the budget proposed by the Committee of Conference (“CofC”), which had passed the House and Senate on purely party lines.  Unfortunately, this means that everything the CofC put in the budget is back on the table and potentially on the chopping block – including the $138 million in new school aid and $40 M in municipal aid that districts and towns were hoping to see.  The veto leaves school districts in a quandary as they make staffing and other decisions for the school year ahead.    (more…)

Action Plan for School Funding – Call the Governor and Come to Concord!

We reported earlier about the budget deal reached by the committee of conference, which would send $138M in new aid to school districts.  See below for more detail.

Unfortunately, the Governor has threatened to veto the deal, and the veto could come as early as next Thursday, June 27.  A veto would delay, and possibly prevent altogether, the additional funding that communities so desperately need right now, and could leave school districts facing another devastating 4% reduction in stabilization funding.

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