DNHPE Comment: The Union Leader stands the education funding issue, and logic, on its head to support the position UL would inevitably take on education funding: The UL thinks education funding costs too much, so we need to get the courts out of it.
The Claremont decision is not "logic defying," as the UL asserts, but Republican political contortions to avoid implementing it are.
Give us a break, Union Leader. Name one property rich town subsidized by a poorer one.
"...the state being forced ever closer to either wholesale gambling or a state income or sales tax"
The Legislature has reduced the education funding formula by $140 million dollars so far and is trying to reduce it by another $100 million, all of this masked with a temporary fix until they have a chance to get this amendment passed. But 119 towns got less than they should have this year.
The Court never did decide what an adequate education is. The Court said the State had to do it. And, after laboring for years, the legislature did that. Now this Legislature is attempting to nullify all that productive work with this two sentence amendment. The editorial is right that the amendment gets the court out of it...
If you wonder where this Legislature thinks education funding should go, just look at the dramatic reductions they've already left in place as a time bomb for the next biennium and at the flood of anti-public education legislation documented on this site.
The Legislature has produced over 20 constitutional amendments, all bad ideas about which advocates could say, "Give the people a chance to vote" - meaning "give us an opportunity to spend the big bucks to get the base out to dismantle state government and elect more radicals." It's hard to say which of these amendments is the worst, but this one is a leading contender.
The Union Leader, who's job it is to get its facts right, doesn't understand the education funding issue, how would they expect each voter to make an independent study of it. That's what we elected our Legislature to do.
Published Mar 11, 2012 at 3:00 am (Updated Mar 9, 2012)
Despite what you may continue to hear from the loony left, the New Hampshire Legislature this session is in fact keeping its eyes on the prize of protecting New Hampshire's economic advantages while seeing that the government that governs least governs best.
Without question, the single most important thing it can do this session is to let the public decide on a constitutional amendment to restore to the people and their elected representatives the authority for school funding decisions.
That power was taken away by the state Supreme Court in its logic-defying “Claremont” decisions. Ever since, the education bill has grown and grown with some property-rich towns being subsidized by poorer ones and the state being forced ever closer to either wholesale gambling or a state income or sales tax.
Finally, in CACR 12, a vehicle has been found to effectively get the court out of deciding what is an “adequate” education and what is its cost and, most importantly, to allow the Legislature to determine both the overall amount of state aid and where it should go.
The Union Leader in the last 10 days has published two very thoughtful essays on this amendment. One is by former congressman and current state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley. The other, and this is very significant, was co-authored by Republican Eugene Van Loan and Democrat Martin Gross. Links to both of these can be found at the end of this editorial.
CACR 12 has already passed the state Senate and awaits action in the House. Not surprisingly, liberals are opposed to letting the people vote on this amendment. They fear its passage will blunt their broadbased tax efforts, and they are correct.
What is surprising is that some supposedly conservative House members oppose the amendment, claiming that the Legislature has never had the “responsibility” the amendment would restore to it.
This is poppycock. As Bradley wrote in his piece, New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state.
The state has long had and used its authority to set education standards. But it always respected local interests because the Legislature is made up of local people. What it didn't have was court interference with its authority.
Every Granite Stater who cares about the New Hampshire Advantage and its relatively small government should find out where his or her state representative stands on this vital issue. At the very least, ask why they would stand in the way of allowing the people to vote.
Education Bills in the New Hampshire Legislature > CACR 12 A Constitutional Amendment on Education Funding >