N.H. House Budget Writers Vote To Trim State Education Aid

Mar 23, 2015

The House Finance Committee works to wrap up the House budget before it hits the floor next week.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The New Hampshire House Finance Committee voted along party lines Monday to eliminate the cap on education aid as well as reduce funding for the state's stabilization grants by 40 percent in effort to trim $46 million from the state's budget. 

Under this proposal, districts with growing enrollments would see more money meanwhile shrinking districts would receive less.

Karen Umberger, a Republican from Kearsarge, says with enrollment dropping in many school districts these cuts are needed.

“And I can tell you that in my voting district people are going to lose money, but the other option was instead of an 88 million dollar hole in the highway fund was to have a 110 million dollar hole,” Umberger told the committee Monday. 

Umberger added that the stabilization grants, which were added to offset a lack of education funding acknowledged in the landmark 1997 N.H. Supreme Court ruling, were not meant to last forever.  

If passed into law these cuts would not take effect until fiscal year 2017.

So far the committee has cut more than $240 million from Governor Maggie Hassan's proposed budget, including significant reductions to the state's department of transportation as well as the department of health and human services.