Reminder to Pittsfield taxpayers that the school district will be hosting a workshop on New Hampshire’s school funding system at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at PMHS. All are invited.
The workshop will be presented by Attorney Andru Volinsky, a current Executive Council member and former lead attorney in the most recent challenges to the state’s funding system, which became known as the Claremont Cases.
In an opinion written for the New Hampshire Bar News and published in April, Attorney John Tobin, also a member of the Claremont legal team, recognized that the “inequities in NH school funding” have not only not been addressed by the state, but are indeed worsening.
In his article, Attorney Tobin reaches two conclusions: “first, by not paying anything close to the true cost of a constitutionally adequate education as the State itself has defined it, the State is violating its constitutional duty to provide an adequate education…”
(The state’s base per student allocation for the current school year is $3636.06, while the state average cost per pupil in 2016-2017, the latest year available, was $15,310.67.)
He further concludes that “by requiring school districts with greatly varying levels of property wealth per student to raise a large portion of the funds needed to meet the State’s duty, with the resulting disproportionate tax rates, the State funding system violates the holding” in the second Claremont ruling.
(For example, Moultonborough’s local education tax rate for 2017 is $2.12/thousand, while Pittsfield’s is $18.60.)
Important information on this topic can be found here published by the NH Center for Public Policy Studies, and in two recent documents written by Doug Hall, who has worked on the issue since the 1990’s. Pittsfield and School Funding, The Claremont Reforms in 2018
To learn more about the state’s inequitable system and what might be done to correct it, plan to join the workshop at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 13, at PMHS.