Featured image of article: Joint Statement of the ConVal, Monadnock, Mascenic and Winchester School Districts

Joint Statement of the ConVal, Monadnock, Mascenic and Winchester School Districts

The Superintendents of the ConVal, Monadnock, Mascenic and Winchester School Districts wish to provide the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of New Hampshire’s ruling this morning:

“We are heartened by today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire on the Districts’ lawsuit regarding state education funding. The Court’s decision to remand the case to Superior Court Judge David Ruoff for review allows the District and its co-plaintiffs to present factual evidence that the State of New Hampshire is not providing adequate education funding. In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court rejects both the State’s Motion to Dismiss and the State’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

“In the landmark Claremont decision, the Court ruled that the state is obligated to pay for an adequate education for all children. Nearly 30 years later, that still has not happened.

“Adequate funding, according to the state, does not include transportation costs, funding for school nurses or food services, and only a fraction of facilities operations and maintenance costs — all of which combine to ensure a quality education for our students. The state determined that in 2019 it cost $3,636 per student to provide an adequate education. By the state’s own formula, our districts all should have received more than $9,900 per student.

“Education costs $18,000 per student on average. No one could reasonably argue that $3,636 per student will provide an adequate education.

“The Legislature, though under court order to repair its funding formula, has not done so. This has shifted responsibility for education funding to the communities, whose residents have had to decide between education funding and rising property taxes. Inequities in taxation and funding now stretch across the state.

“Today’s outcome is a positive one for students of New Hampshire, but it is only one small step toward solving an urgent issue for students throughout the state. This issue has now impacted two generations of New Hampshire children and will continue as long as the state fails to meet its obligations under our state Constitution.

“Our students, and students across the State of New Hampshire, deserve an adequate and equitable education immediately, and we will continue working together to ensure the state upholds its constitutional responsibility to them.”