June 5, 2019
On March 13, 2019, the Contoocook Valley School District filed a Complaint in the Cheshire Superior Court regarding the State’s obligation to ensure a constitutionally adequate education for New Hampshire children. The Mascenic, Monadnock, and Winchester School Districts joined the Complaint.
The Complaint laid out how, using the State’s own formula and the State’s own data, the State’s base adequacy funding falls far short of constitutionally sufficient funding for the children of the ConVal, Mascenic, Monadnock, and Winchester School Districts and throughout New Hampshire.
On June 5, 2019, the Court issued a comprehensive, 98-page decision.
The Court’s findings were consistent with our assertion that the present levels of funding for public education in the State of New Hampshire are unconstitutional. The Court specifically held the State’s current per pupil funding levels are “unconstitutional as applied to the Petitioning school districts.”
In particular, the Court held that the State was unconstitutionally failing to fully fund transportation costs for all students, unconstitutionally failing to fully fund facilities costs and unconstitutionally failing to fund the costs of teachers at proper teacher student ratios.
Additionally, the Court awarded attorneys’ fees.
The Court also indicated that any formula design that forced communities to raise dollars to subsidize the State’s obligations would be “ripe for adjudication.”
The Court also found that the funding formula was “not only unsupported by the legislative record but [is] clearly or demonstratively inadequate according to the Legislature’s own definition of an adequate education.”
You can read the court’s decision in its entirety here.
— The ConVal School Board