DNHPE 5/11/12 Update on CACR 12, the education funding debate

posted May 11, 2012, 2:34 PM by Bill Duncan

Volleys in the CACR 12 education funding amendment debate are coming fast and furious.  Here is a thoughtful piece by from Foster's two days ago by Rep. Phillip Munk, a first term Republican legislator from Somersworth.  We don't agree with his conclusion supporting CACR 12, but he frames the issue in a useful way: "Voting on CACR 12 will not be voting on a free lunch. One way or another, we will pay for education as we always have. The question is how shall we do it."

And, interestingly, two very different sources reach the conclusion that no education funding amendment is likely to pass this year, getting the required 239 votes in the House.  First, the Portsmouth Herald, which supports the amendment, nonetheless concludes that, with so many shadings of opinion among House members, there's no way it will get the needed support.  And yesterday, the hyper-conservative, bombastic (but good vote counter) Republican representative from Manchester, Steve Vaillancourt, reached almost the same conclusion while giving an insider's view of the Speaker's arm twisting to gain support for the amendment.

It appears that, so far, Democrats and many "liberty" members of the House continue to be strongly against it.  We should pile on and add our voice.  There is something for everyone not to like in this amendment because it allocates "full power and authority" to the Legislature.  Conservative Republicans don't like it because that would eliminate local control over our schools.  Democrats are opposed because it removes the legitimate role for the courts.  Both are right - this is a very bad amendment.

In addition, we want to point out to Democrats that the amendment eliminates almost entirely the state responsibility to fund public education.  The New Hampshire Constitution promises to educate every child.  This amendment breaks the promise of public education to all our children.

Your representatives' phone numbers and emails are here, if you know their names, and here if you don't.  Let them hear from us.  If they're Republicans, you'll help them stand up to the Speaker.  If they're Democrats, you'll assure them that they're doing the right thing to oppose the amendment.

Noise at the right time is good.  This is the right time.