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Trial in latest NH school funding case begins in Rockingham County

Rockingham County Superior Court, Brentwood, NH.
Dan Tuohy
Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood.

A trial centered on claims made by 17 school districts that the state is failing to meet its obligation to provide an adequate education is now underway in Rockingham County Superior Court.

At issue in the case is whether what the state of New Hampshire pays for educational adequacy — now about $3,800 per student — is enough.

The Con-Val school district in southwestern New Hampshire, which first brought this case in 2019, spends nearly $11,000 per student.

Michael Tierney, the lawyer representing the plaintiff districts, said the suit aims to spell out the true cost of state requirements.

“Costing components of an adequate education is a matter of fact law, and we are going to be having the court determine that," Tierney said.

In court filings, the state argues lawmakers define adequacy and discretion over how to fund it.

This lawsuit has already withstood several efforts by the state to have it dismissed.

A separate suit challenging the use of varied local tax rates to fund public education is slated for trial this fall.

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