Manchester mayor joins 150 NH leaders in urging state to increase school funding

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MANCHESTER, NH –  Mayor Joyce Craig was among more than 150 local government and school board officials across the state who on March 13 signed a letter to Governor Sununu and the General Court of New Hampshire calling for better and more equitable public education funding. The letter will be presented at the NH House Finance Committee’s budget hearing at the State House Monday.

“There is a significant gap between the actual cost of education and what the State has determined to be adequate,” the letter reads. “The average cost to educate one student for a whole year is about $20,000, however the State only provides, on average, approximately $4,700 per student. Local property taxpayers must make up the difference, resulting in large variability in tax rates and the quality of education provided.”

The letter urges the legislature to move forward with recommendations from the Commission to Study School Funding, an independent commission established by the NH legislature in 2019, which “would result in property tax relief for the vast majority of local taxpayers,” the letter reads. “The solutions would also improve outcomes for many high-need students by not only providing more education funding to almost all school districts, but by specifically aiding districts that serve students with greater needs.”

Mayor Joyce Craig is a graduate of New Hampshire public schools, and has been a vocal proponent of greater state support and contribution toward a quality education for all New Hampshire students.

The New Hampshire School Funding Fairness Project, a non-profit organization advocating for more equitable school funding for students and taxpayers, highlights the two main issues with the way education is currently funded in the state; the funding provided is wholly insufficient to fund a quality education for NH students, and the funding that is available is not distributed equitably, resulting in disparities in the quality of education offered throughout the state.

Read the letter in full, and see all signatories here.

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