Gov. Lynch Announces Support of Constitutional Amendment, 5/31/12

posted May 31, 2012, 12:58 PM by Bill Duncan   [ updated May 31, 2012, 8:15 PM ]
Governor Reaches Agreement with Senate President, House Speaker Regarding Education Funding Amendment Language, Seven Points That Constitute Goals Of The Amendment
 
 
CONCORD – Gov. John Lynch today announced his support for an education funding constitutional amendment, which is also supported by the Senate President and House Speaker. The Governor, Speaker and Senate President also agreed to seven points that constitute their goals of the amendment.
 
“This amendment meets the goals I have articulated and will allow us to put in place the best possible education funding formula for our schools and our children,” Gov. Lynch said.
The seven points agreed upon that constitute the goals of the amendment are:
  • Requires the state to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education that includes the responsibility for both reasonable minimum standards for education and accountability, as well as targeted state funding to enable communities that need state support to help achieve the standards established by the legislature.  
  • Allows local communities and school districts to adopt additional elementary and secondary standards and accountability standards that are not inconsistent with state education policy. 
  • Places upon the state the responsibility to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity. 
  • Enables the state to target aid to communities that most need state support for public elementary and secondary education.  
  • Replaces Claremont and Londonderry rulings that impose highest level of judicial review on legislature’s decisions for education policy. The amendment will enable judicial review of public education decisions by the legislature under the same standard as most other legislative policy decisions (rational basis). 
  • Allows the legislature to determine the amount of, and the methods of raising and distributing, state funding for public elementary and secondary education.
  • Ensures that the state and local communities can work together to implement the best education policy for public elementary and secondary education students in New Hampshire.  
 
The language of the agreed upon amendment follows:
[Art.] 5-c [Public Education].  In fulfillment of the provisions with respect to education set forth in Part II, Article 83, the legislature shall have the responsibility to maintain a system of public elementary and secondary education and to mitigate local disparities in educational opportunity and fiscal capacity.  In furtherance thereof, the Legislature shall have the full power and authority to make reasonable standards for elementary and secondary public education and standards of accountability and to determine the amount of, and the methods of raising and distributing, state funding for public education.
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