CONCORD, NH – June 6. 2019 – Today’s ruling confirms what NEA-NH has been saying for years: New Hampshire has failed to provide stable, equitable and truly adequate funding for our public schools for decades.
The Cheshire County Court issued the ruling on the lawsuit brought forth by Contoocook Valley (ConVal), Monadnock, Winchester, and Mascenic School Districts over the amount that the state provides in funding for NH schools, ruling that the funding formula is unconstitutional.
“Our elected leaders have regularly put the interests of the wealthy and corporations ahead of the needs of our public school students and set education budgets without knowing how much it truly costs to educate kids,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-New Hampshire President. “Hopefully, this ruling is the first step in correcting these unconstitutional practices.”
At the heart of today’s ruling is the conclusion that the state statute, RSA 198-40a II(a), that sets the cost of baseline adequacy is unconstitutional. The Court concluded that the formula is so flawed that it is unconstitutional as it is currently applied to school districts in our state. The judge stated that the next step must be for the Legislature to determine the true cost of a constitutionally adequate education and then fund it.
“The professional educators in our state have lived with this flawed process and inadequate funding for years and have done their very best with the resources they’ve been given to reach, teach and inspire the young people in their schools,” said Tuttle. “Quality public education is the foundation of a thriving, equitable society. We must provide adequate, sustainable funding to ensure that every student, regardless of family income or place of residence, receives a quality education that includes the support, tools, and time they need to learn.”