Education Funding State of the States

Amendment Sought to Help Neediest Districts on Funding

By Debra Viadero — January 09, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New Hampshire

Gov. John Lynch, in his Jan. 5 inaugural address, called for a constitutional amendment allowing New Hampshire to target school funding to the communities that need it most.

Gov. John Lynch

The proposal by the Democratic governor, who was elected to a second term in November, is aimed at putting an end to a school finance dispute that has raged in the state for 15 years. In September, the New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected the state’s latest attempt to solve the problem by striking down a 1-year-old aid system that relied on a statewide property tax to channel dollars to needier districts. The court’s decision prompted some frustrated legislators to push for a constitutional amendment to remove the court’s jurisdiction over school finance issues.

However, Gov. Lynch said in his speech that he had in mind a narrower constitutional change, one that would reaffirm the state’s responsibility to schools and permit a targeted funding formula. Also, in keeping with the justices’ ruling, he said lawmakers and other policymakers should define what constitutes an “adequate education” under the state constitution.

“I believe most people in New Hampshire and in this legislature would agree that we should target aid to the children and communities that need it most,” he said.

Mr. Lynch ruled out imposing a sales or income tax to pay for the new system, and gave no other details on how the state would pay for schools. The supreme court, in its ruling last year, threatened to step in if the state failed to come up with a solution to the funding problem by this summer.

On another education issue, the governor renewed his call for raising the state’s compulsory school attendance age to 18, from 16, to stem a state dropout rate of 20 percent. A similar proposal by Gov. Lynch failed to make it through the state’s Republican-controlled legislature last year. But control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives turned over to the Democrats after the elections in November, enhancing the proposal’s prospects for passage.

Mr. Lynch also called for expanding alternative-learning programs for high school students and doubling the number of high school students allowed to take college-level courses in their own schools.

For More info
Read a complete transcript of Gov. John Lynch’s 2007 Inaugural Address. Posted by New Hampshire’s Office of the Governor.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week


Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.
School & District Management Webinar Fostering Student Well-Being with Programs That Work
Protecting student well-being has never been more important. Join this webinar to learn how to ensure your programs yield the best outcomes.
Reading & Literacy Webinar 'Science of Reading': What Are the Components?
Learn how to adopt a “science of reading” approach to early literacy to effectively build students’ vocabulary and content knowledge.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Districts Steer Federal Teacher-Quality Funding Into Recruitment, Retention
Efforts to recruit teachers and create "grow your own" programs are in; class-size reduction and teacher evaluation are out.
5 min read
Blurred view of the back of students in a classroom with their hands raised answering to a female teacher
Education Funding In Their Own Words This Superintendent's Tiny, Rural District Got No COVID Aid. Here's Why That Hurts
The aid formula left Long Lake, N.Y., out of the mix. The superintendent worries that could happen for other kinds of aid in the future.
3 min read
Long Lake Superintendent Noelle Short in front of Long Lake Central School in Long Lake, N.Y., on Sept. 1, 2022.
Noelle Short is the superintendent of a single-school district in upstate New York with fewer than 100 students.
Heather Ainsworth for Education Week
Education Funding Grants Aim to Support Alaska Native Students' Education, Well-Being
The U.S. Department of Education is providing more than $35 million for projects in its latest round of funding.
2 min read
The East Anchorage High and Scammon Bay students gather at a home in the Native Village to learn how to comb fur from a musk ox hide using special combs and common forks. The fur can later be spun into yarn.
Students from East Anchorage High School and Scammon Bay, Alaska, gather to learn how to comb fur from a musk ox hide through a federally funded cultural and educational program for Alaska Native students.
Erin Irwin/Education Week
Education Funding District Leaders Plea to Feds: We Need More Time to Spend COVID Aid
Without more flexibility on the 2024 spending deadline, critical programs will be axed, they warn.
5 min read
Image of money and a timer.