Pittsfield resident: Time for school lawsuit

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Pittsfield resident Christopher Cheney submitted this letter to the Concord Monitor, regarding concerns over education funding:

Ready for another court fight over public education funding?

The State House is pushing property-poor communities into the same inadequate-public-education hole that they started crawling out of a generation ago.

Two decades ago, property-poor communities sued over inequity in public-education funding, which is drawn mainly from local property taxes. The so-called Claremont lawsuit was fought to the state Supreme Court, which ruled in the property-poor communities’ favor.

The high court found taxpayers in property-poor communities could not adequately fund public education and required state aid.

As part of the remedy, the state Legislature adopted “stabilization grant” aid money for property-poor communities. Now, the stabilization grant aid is being eliminated.

Why should N.H. citizens care about the stabilization grant rollback?

First, taxpayer-supported public education has been a keystone of democracy and equality nationwide for more than a century.

Second, if you live in a property-poor community – like me – you are probably facing huge annual tax hikes this year and beyond.

Even if the Legislature restores stabilization grant aid, it is unlikely Gov. Chris Sununu would sign the legislation.

Property-poor communities need to sue, now.

CHRISTOPHER CHENEY

Pittsfield

Read the full letter here.