Letter: It’s time for N.H. to meet its constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education

Published: 8/16/2019 2:16:44 PM
Modified: 8/16/2019 2:16:33 PM

To the editor:

As a follow up to the article “School budget hits home in CV towns” in the August 13th edition, it’s important to understand the reasons behind the increases in the school budget this year.

On July 1, Governor Sununu vetoed the State budget worked on over many months and passed in good faith by our elected representatives and Senators in Concord, which contained significant new aid for school districts and one-time aid for municipalities.

Since that date, the State is operating under a “Continuing Resolution”, which means we are operating under last year’s budget. What does the budget veto mean in real dollars for towns in our district? With the stroke of a pen, Antrim lost $800,000, Bennington lost $527,000, Dublin lost $41,000, Francestown lost $133,000, Greenfield lost $238,000, Hancock lost $97,000, Peterborough lost $491,000, Sharon lost $17,000 and Temple lost $68,000, a combined $2.4 million dollars in taxpayer relief.

Not only do we not see any new funding for education or municipal aid, the Continuing Resolution means that school districts are bearing another 4 percent cut in stabilization funding.

So in effect, state support for schools is now actually lower than last year, downshifting more onto the already heavy-laden backs of local property taxpayers.

The current system of education funding is broken and needs fixing. The Governor’s veto does nothing to help. The House and Senate Finance Ad Hoc Committee on the Budget will hold a public hearing on education on Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building rooms 210-211.

Contact the Governor’s office and let your feelings be known. Show up and testify. Write letters to your representatives.

It’s time for the State to meet its constitutional obligation to fund an adequate education for all of NH’s children and for property owners to get some relief.

Karen Hatcher

Peterborough


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