CONCORD — The following is a statement from Executive Director Carl Ladd regarding the Supreme Court of New Hampshire’s ruling today to remand the case between the ConVal, Monadnock, Mascenic and Winchester School Districts and the state to Superior Court Judge David Ruoff for review:
“The state of New Hampshire is at a pivotal moment for our public education system. The NHSAA eagerly awaits Superior Court Judge David Ruoff’s ruling moving forward, as it is abundantly clear that our state is currently failing to meet its constitutional duty to provide an adequate education for all children.
“In 2019, the state determined it cost $3,636 per student to provide an adequate education– this figure fails to include funding for integral parts of a district’s operations including transportation, food services and school nurses. The state’s own formula indicates districts should have been allocated more than twice the above sum.
“It should not be lost on anyone the tremendous disservice our state is doing students and families by its failure to fund these aspects of education. Perhaps most ironic is the decision not to fund school nurses, who shouldered the brunt of contact tracing work in their schools and worked tirelessly to support their students and staff as they navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. These have always been key pillars of our public school system, and amid the pandemic have been more instrumental than ever. New Hampshire needs to do better.
“The Legislature’s failure to address this funding issue has shifted the financial burden onto local communities and taxpayers who for decades now have been forced to either underfund their schools or see their property taxes skyrocket. It’s deepening equity gaps in our state, and it’s going to put our young people at a disadvantage.
“The pandemic made it more clear than ever that schools are an essential part of our communities. Our schools provided contact tracing services among students and staff, supplied struggling families with needed meals, adapted to entirely new ways of learning remotely and in-person, provided mental health support at a time of unprecedented stress and isolation, and so much more. It’s time for New Hampshire to start adequately funding our schools as the fundamental resource they are.”
NHSAA is a nonprofit organization serving approximately 275 members and is dedicated to providing the best possible public education for the children of New Hampshire. Membership of NHSAA includes superintendents of schools, assistant superintendents, school business officials, special education directors, curriculum coordinators and other system administrators.
NHSAA provides its membership with professional development training and conference opportunities as well as myriad resources to support their role as educators, and also honors educational professionals statewide with annual awards including Superintendent of the Year, the Outstanding Service Award and Champions for Children.
To learn more, visit NHSAA’s website by clicking here.