1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com

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News Releases

Coalition to Unveil Targeted Aid Plan

Jan. 31, 2003

A proposal to target aid to needy communities to ensure equal education opportunity for all New Hampshire schoolchildren, gradually phase in a new and reasonable education funding formula over a 6-year period, put a cap on State spending and end Donor towns will be unveiled Wednesday, Feb. 5, by the Coalition Communities, officials announced Friday.

The proposed legislation to begin the transition in FY 2004 and an accompanying constitutional amendment, along with the projected impact on each of New Hampshire's cities and towns, will be unveiled at 3 p.m. in Rooms 201-203 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.

The Coalition Communities last year assembled a team of educational funding and constitutional experts to work on a reasonable alternative to the current overly simplistic and inequitable funding system. Two members of that team -- Dr. Daphne Kenyon, who has led the panel of experts in formulating this proposal and devising the formula necessary to implement it, and attorney Martin Gross, who wrote the legislation and constitutional amendment - will conduct the briefing for members of the Legislature and the news media.

"Rather than offer a hasty quick-fix for the sake of political expediency, this package draws upon wide-ranging and in-depth research -- combined with the most recent facts and figures available -- to establish a formula that makes sense," said Ted Jankowski, director of the 34-town Coalition. "At the same time, it benefits needy schools while providing local and state administrators with sufficient information to plan budgets over a stable and predictable 6-year transition period and solving the education funding problem once and for all."

Among other things, the Coalition's package:
  • Establishes the State's commitment to education at the present level and sets a clear-cut reasonable cap of future growth by tying it to the Consumer Price Index and the student population, facilitating planning by school districts whose grants would be gradually adjusted over a 6-year period under a realistic and fact-supported formula;
  • Utilizes existing resources within the Education Trust Fund without the need for a state property tax;
  • Awards grants based on the difference between a community's education need --using separate formulas for operating costs and transportation costs - and fiscal capacity as determined by household income, as well as equalized property values;
  • Targets aid for equal education opportunity by using the statewide average per-pupil expenditure of $6,700 and multiplying it by the number of students. The formula then goes beyond the current system by taking into account such ignored factors as additional costs associated with students with limited English proficiency, variations in the cost of living around NH, and the high cost of providing education in very small towns; and
  • Although grants may be adjusted on the basis of education need, all state property taxes raised within a community for education would remain in the community -- as local education tax dollars under local control.


 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com