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With N.H. Budget Compromise, Schools Get Funding Increase

Sara Ernst
Governor Chris Sununu signs two budget bills HB3 and HB4 into law at Franklin High School.

Governor Chris Sununu signed a compromisetwo-year state budget into law on Thursday in front of a group of students and teachers at Franklin High School.


The new budget increases school funding close to the $140 millionboost that Democrats proposedearlier this year. The budget restores a type of aid called stabilization aid that the state had been cutting annually, and it sends additional aid to poor districts.

Many parts of the new education aid only include one-time funds.

Credit Sara Ernst / NHPR

Proponents of increasing state funding for education see the new budget as a significant win, but they say it doesn’t solve the problems with the funding formula, which allocates money in the form of “adequacy aid” to school districts.

This formula is the subject of a lawsuit brought by ConValand other school districts now headed to the state Supreme Court.

Lawmakers expect to form a committee that will examine the existing formula and propose new ones.

“If they want to revisit the formula that is something we are open to,” said Sununu. “You got to make sure that it’s fair and balanced. So there’s always opportunity.”

The most substantial increases in school funding come in the second fiscal year.

Lawmakers reached this budget compromise after nearly three months of negotiations.


Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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