Rochester Public Schools, in collaboration with the New Hampshire School Funding Fairness Project, invites the community to participate in a forum about education funding inequities in the state.
The informational program will be held on Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m., at the R.W. Creteau Technology Center at Spaulding High School, 140 Wakefield St.
The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has ruled that the State has a responsibility to provide funding for an adequate education. About 20 New Hampshire school districts have sued the state, arguing that the state’s current formula falls woefully short. For example, the state formula includes no funding for transportation, school nurses, or food services, and covers only a fraction of operations and maintenance costs.
In the current school year, the average per-pupil spending statewide is $19,300. The state will fund $4,700.
“If you look at the state funding, it’s not that some districts are spending wisely and some districts are spending foolishly. No school district in the state is close to spending $4,700 per pupil. We are at three times that, and it still is not enough to give kids what they need,” Superintendent Kyle Repucci said.
The City of Rochester operates under a tax and spending cap that limits budget increases each year.
New Hampshire ranks last in the nation in its support of K-12 education. Low state funding support places the burden of education spending on local taxpayers and local districts, which may include communities with very different tax bases and tax rates.
“The state’s continued failure to fulfill its fundamental, Constitutional responsibility to provide an adequate education is not a one-party issue. It is not a rural or urban issue,” said Zack Sheehan, Project Director for NHSFFP. “This system harms students and taxpayers across the state.”
This presentation is open to the public. To register, click here.
“The School Board is happy to support all efforts to inform our stakeholders about all school topics, especially school funding,” School Board Chair Paul Lynch said. “We want to let people know the challenges we face, but also want to hear from them about ways to close this funding gap.”
“We invite everyone in the Rochester community to attend, and to have all of the information in front of them before they cast any vote,” Superintendent Repucci said.
About the NH School Funding Fairness Project
The New Hampshire School Funding Fairness Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Its mission is to inform the public about the condition of New Hampshire public schools and their funding; to advocate for changes to make the system more equitable for students and taxpayers alike; and, if necessary, to prosecute, manage, control, and/or participate in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the system for funding education in New Hampshire.