Concord School Board calls on lawmakers to increase state education funding

By JEREMY MARGOLIS

Monitor staff

Published: 04-02-2024 5:07 PM

Concord joined a growing number of school districts across the state Monday calling on lawmakers to increase state funding for education.

The school board’s resolution, which passed unanimously, asks legislators to support a school funding system in line with a consequential November 2023 court ruling that ordered the state to spend dramatically more on education.

Since the ruling, about a half-dozen school boards have passed similar resolutions, including Franklin, Allenstown, Chester, and Dover.

“We join a long line of districts asking the legislature to do their job, which they have avoided doing for decades,” school board member Sarah Robinson said Monday.

The amount of money Concord will receive from the state next year decreased, which further hamstrung the district over the course of its multi-month budgeting process, according to Robinson.

In his November court ruling, a Rockingham County Superior Court judge found the current state allocation of $4,100 per student unconstitutional and ordered the state to instead pay at least $7,356.01 per student.

Since then, the state has asked Judge David Ruoff to reconsider and he has declined to do so, setting up a potential appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. Meanwhile, state legislators have contemplated multiple bills that would increase state education funding, but would still fall short of the $7,356.01 figure.

The Concord school board’s resolution asks the city’s representatives to work toward a school funding formula that complies with the court ruling and reduces taxes for the city’s property owners.

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“We are joining a large coalition to impress upon the entirety of the legislature that this is imperative for our schools to be able to thrive into the future,” Robin son said.