Today we heard from Jeff McLynch of the New Hampshire School Funding fairness project.
In attendance via Zoom and Live:
Denise, Bill, Ben, Omer, Mike, Paul, Alex, Sharon, Ken, Braden, Steve, Walter, Lisa, and Peggy.
Ben opened with the Pledge, prayer and song.
Jeff McLynch was our guest speaker from the NH School Funding Fairness Project. Jeff explained their mission was to educate the public as to how NH funds education and to promote change. The 5 areas of concern to them are:
1) taxpayers and students not being treated fairly
2) the rules of how property taxes are used in education ,
3) gaps between what schools are provided and what the actual cost is
4) inequities across the board, and
5) pending court and legislative developments.
The Claremont cases established that the state is responsible and must pay a uniform rate. The question remains as to whether the state is meeting its requirements and providing an "adequate" education. The legislative process focuses on property taxes. The EVPP, equal value per pupil with varying tax rates per town creates the inequity. Current formulas suggest $4,600 per student when the reality is up to $15,000. To meet the current formula, all sports, arts, language, ESL, technology, guidance, speech, libraries, multiple teachers, office workers and supplies would need to be cut. Pending developments include a commission to study funding in the current budget, and new cases in court with a ruling on the Conval schools could help with new recommendations. More information at
Ben asked about shared school districts in VT and NH, and yes that is a current reality. The NH kids are tuitioned into VT. 
Steve asked about data covering income and income available to be taxed. Jeff answered that on a state basis, NH has regressive taxes where the lowest income often pays the highest share and that they are exploring ways to make that more fair. 
Ken compared the average cost per student between towns and the education portion of the property tax in relationship to declining enrollment . Jeff answered that they assess by graduation, attendance, and test scores even with declining enrollment. 
Steve questioned how the exemptions and the homestead act turn the burden over to local businesses. 
Mike asked for a better definition of adequate education and Jeff said currently it is a trade off. 
Denise asked if they looked at how other New England states pay for education and Jeff answered that our constitution directs how we base our requirements. 
Moving on to the business portion of the meeting, Ben asked Bill and Ken to report out on Dollars for Scholars. they reported that the committee had met again and were close to releasing all information to Rotarians including their sponsorship request responsibilities. They have purchased the URL for the event and will have everything ready to roll out next week. 
Ben reminded us the board meets this Friday @ 7am via Zoom.
Ben and Mike attended the virtual Rotary leadership meeting on Tuesday and enjoyed the speaker's topic on increasing engagement and becoming more inclusive. RI announced its first female president this year.
Mike informed us that the Community Closet, part of PACC will be closing and has turned its inventory over to Ladders. The other PACC agencies within will remain open and active. Community Closet will be looking for extra hands to support the transition and moving of 
inventory. Alex informed us that Boomarang will now occupy the entire space. 
Respectfully submitted by,
Denise Castonguay