HB 1393 would allow petitioning residents or a school board to propose an arbitrary cap on education spending per pupil in their town.
-The proposed cap on district spending per attending student chosen by the petitioner or school board and could irresponsibly cut school budgets.
-There is NOT a requirement in the bill that the arbitrary budget cap be sufficient for meeting the educational needs of students.
-The proposed budget caps would need to be approved by 3/5 of voters by ballot in SB 2 towns (SAU 21 and 90 towns included) or 3/5 of voters at the annual town meeting or special meeting in non-SB 2 towns.
-If approved by the district, the capped per pupil spending could only increase each year by the chosen increase in inflation (which could be set as low as 0%) or could be rescinded entirely by a 3/5 vote.
The proposed cap on spending per pupil would be chosen arbitrarily by the petitioner and not by professionals as part of an informed process that will meet the needs of students.
Bill language: IV. The wording of the question shall be: “Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 32:5-d, and implement a budget cap whereby the school board (or budget committee) shall not submit a recommended budget that is higher than ______ dollars times the average daily membership of the school district as of October 1 of the year immediately preceding the proposed budget year plus a ______ annual increase for inflation.”
If you’re familiar with the recent events in Croydon, you can see how this could go terribly wrong for NH school districts, students and teachers/staff. This bill has already passed the House so please take a moment to sign-in to oppose this bill in the Senate Committee and/or email the Committee directly.
You can sign-in to oppose HB1393 here.
You can email the committee here.
Please continue to check in with NEANH’s Legislative Action Center here.