Town-by-town impact of the Senate’s proposal for school funding

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On Thursday, May 29 the Senate Finance Committee passed a proposal to increase school funding by $94 million in the 2020-2021 state budget.  

The Senate’s proposal restores stabilization grants to 100% in 2020, provides full base adequacy funding for full-day Kindergarten students, keeps one (Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid) of the two new funding streams created within the House budget, and provides extra state dollars for charter schools.

Key findings include:

  • 110 communities will see at least a 5% increase in state dollars, relative to current law, over the next two years. In the House-passed budget, that number was 153 cities and towns;
  • 36 municipalities (versus 33 in the House passed budget) will see a decrease in state dollars, relative to current law, over the next two years. For these communities, the average dollar loss is around $47,000 due to the proposed funding changes to full-day kindergarten.
  • The top 20 communities that would benefit the most (on a percentage basis) are some of the same places that would benefit the most from the House’s budget proposal.

View the town-by-town impacts of the Senate’s proposal for school funding here.

The latest version of the amendment, 2019-2360s, was presented to the full Senate Finance Committee and passed on May 26. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Thursday, June 6.

More funding for vulnerable communities

The proposal targets the most school funding to the communities with low property wealth per student through restoring stabilization grants to their original levels from FY2016 and Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid.

Berlin, for example, would receive an additional $2.9 million in 2020-2021 over current law. Winchester, which has among the highest concentration of poverty in the state, would receive over $1 million more.

The table below shows the 20 communities with the lowest property value per student (or, “equalized value per pupil”), and therefore have more difficulty raising money for education through property taxes. Most would receive between 11% and 15% more state funding for education over current law.

Background

On April 11th, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed its proposal for the next two year budget cycle that begins on July 1, 2019. In the two pieces of legislation (HB1 and HB2) that constitute “the budget”, there was language that made changes to how the state of New Hampshire provides funding to our public schools.

Read more about the House’s budget proposal and its impact on education funding  here.

On May 31st, the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of the upcoming two-year state budget. Relative to the House, the Committee did the following regarding education funding:

  • In 2020, the proposal restores stabilization grants to 2016 levels (before the annual 4% cuts) and funds full-day kindergarten at the same rate as other grades. Read more about stabilization grants here, and kindergarten funding here.
  • In 2021, the proposal implements the Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid that the House passed, which would target aid to districts with the least ability to raise funds through property taxes. It does not include the enhanced Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) funding stream that the House passed, which would have provided more funds to districts with the highest concentration of children in poverty. It also does not eliminate stabilization grants in 2021 like the House version did .

In addition to these changes, the budget passed by Senate Finance provides around $12 million less in school building aid, but adds about $2.5 million more in charter school funding.

RELATED: What is the current status of New Hampshire’s state budget?

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