school funding

Going Local: The Great North Woods

Jul 11, 2018
Dan Tuohy; NHPR

For the first part of our series, Going Local, we look at the Great North Woods

The very top of our state, with its small towns and expansive outdoor recreation options, is a region driven by local government, where school funding, access to well-paying jobs, and retention of a sustainable workforce are all big issues.

Franklin's nearly 30-year old tax cap won't be in place next year. The city council overrode the mayor’s veto to break the tax cap with a 6 to 3 vote Thursday night.

After years of budget shortfalls and layoffs, Franklin’s school district has some breathing room, at least for one year. That's how long this proposed tax cap break would last.

The school district would get $708,623, and could rehire most of the 14 staff members laid off this year.

Reaching Higher NH

A new analysis of a controversial school voucher bill says it could cost the state millions of dollars over the next several years.

The bill in question would allow parents to take the state money that normally follows a child to public school, and spend it on other forms of education -- including private schools or home schooling.

rickpilot_2000 / flickr cc

The Attorney General’s office has refused to defend the law that caps state aid to schools in a case brought by the city of Dover.  It’s the latest in a long string of battles over education funding in the state.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

With lawmakers now in the final phase of crafting the state budget for the next two years, schools around the state are watching the process uneasily. The Legislature is looking, once again, to tweak the formula it uses to send money to local districts. 

School districts with growing populations could benefit from two pieces of legislation that got preliminary approval today from the New Hampshire House. 

The House voted this morning to move forward a bill that would lift a cap on how much state aid growing school districts can receive, as well as a measure to provide more money for school construction projects. The House Education Committee recommended passage of both. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Facing tighter budgets North Country school districts are participating in a task force exploring ways they can cooperate and save money.

There are two broad goals, said Wayne Gersen, the former superintendent of the Hanover school district, who is heading up the group.

One is to give students more educational opportunities, perhaps by having SAUs share teachers in areas such as music, art or even special-education testing.

 

The New Hampshire Senate has approved a constitutional amendment to give the state more leeway in how it distributes school aid. 

The amendment would make it easier for lawmakers to target money to poorer communities but not explicitly undue the Claremont rulings that require the state to fund an adequate education for every child. After the vote Governor Lynch described the proposal as “a significant milestone.”