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Commission to Study School Funding Releases Final Report

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller, Michael O’Brien

Phone: (603) 271-3479, (603) 271-0515

CONCORD - Today, the Commission to Study School Funding released its final report to the Governor. Established at the end of the 2019 legislative session, the Commission to Study School Funding was appropriated $500,000 to support comprehensive research and public engagement processes that has resulted in policy recommendations for consideration in the 2021 legislative session.

Commission Chair Representative David Luneau (D- Hopkinton), Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene), Representative Mel Myler (D- Contoocook), and Bruce Mallory of the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy issued the following statements on the report:

Commission Chair Representative David Luneau (D- Hopkinton) stated, “This is not just a problem limited to our communities. This is a problem for our economy, our workforce, our businesses, and the civic health of our state. For the first time in decades, this Commission engaged a national research team with expertise in education, public policy, and data analysis to help us understand the problem. The support from the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH was essential to help the commission address a problem as complex and important to the Granite State.”

“Student outcomes vary widely by school district due to the amount spent per student and unique student needs and district characteristics,” added Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene). “For NH to meet its constitutional responsibility where all students have equal opportunity to an adequate education, its state aid distribution funding formula needs to be altered. Currently, most state aid is allocated to districts as a flat universal cost per student. The state can more effectively use its education funds by distributing higher portions of state aid to districts with greater student needs and less capacity to raise funds due to lower property valuations. The Education Cost Model proposed by the Commission will assist state budget decisions regardless of the amount of funding distribute.”

Representative Mel Myler (D- Contoocook) added, “It is clear, after more than 85 public meetings, that education funding policy should be guided by the fundamental concept that solutions must focus on all our kids. Every kid in New Hampshire must be allowed an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of economic or social circumstance.”

Bruce Mallory of the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy concluded, “The Carsey School of Public Policy and NH Listens were honored to support the Commission over the past 10 months. We were able to achieve our mission of serving the state and enhancing public engagement in critical policy issues such as school funding. It was one of the most challenging and gratifying efforts of my career in New Hampshire since my role as a staffer for the House Education Committee 45 years ago.”



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