BREAKING NEWS: Senate Finance votes to increase funding for schools

This morning, the Senate Finance Committee passed a proposal to address school funding in the state budget by a vote of 4-2. The proposal increases state funding in the form of adequacy grants over the next two years by about $95 million over current law. Committee members based the proposal off of the package that the House passed in April, but the Senate Finance Committee’s version provides about $71 million less for public schools than the House’s version.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • 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 .
  • The proposal adds $1.25 million per year for charter schools by increasing the state funding per charter school student.

View the amendment here.

Next Steps

The proposal will be presented to the full Senate as an amendment to HB 2, the bill that sets the state budget. The full Senate must vote to approve the amendment in order for it to be included in HB 2. The Senate is expected to vote on budget amendments in early June.

Reaching Higher NH will be releasing a more thorough analysis, including town-by-town breakdowns of the impact of their proposal, within the next few days.