Education: February 2008 Archives
From the House Republican OfficeMAJORITY PROPOSAL GOES WELL BEYOND ADEQUACY
“The report of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Costing an Adequate Education, released today, clearly goes well beyond adequacy,” said committee member Rep. David Hess (R-Hooksett), following a 6-3 committee vote at the State House in Concord.
The committee, created by the passage of HB 927, was charged with defining an adequate education as the specific criteria and substantive education program—defined and identified as the school approval standards in nine specific areas. In doing so, the law adopted, in their entirety, more than 30 pages of the Standards of Public School Approval in existence on the effective date of the bill.
According to Hess, “The Express reference to those standards, in the context of the charge to the committee, evidenced clear legislative intent. In the end, the Majority ignored this directive and, in many critical areas, substituted its own opinion for the standards, universally resulting in increasing and inflating the costs of education.” Republicans on the committee believe that the continuity in public policy and past definitions are very important in this effort to cost an adequate education.
Republicans on the committee also disagreed with the Majority of Democrats over the appropriate funding levels for other elements of the costing formula, e.g., the per pupil allocations for educational materials, technology and transportation, targeted aid for free & reduced lunch recipients and special education students. The disagreements between the two sides appear to create a difference of more than $200M between the statewide cost of adequacy based on the Majority’s assumptions as opposed to the standards espoused by the Republicans on the committee. The most significant in this regard concerns the qualifications used to determine the salaries for the professional positions used in the formula.
“In the end, this report represents a significant difference in how targeted aid is calculated and how the dollars are distributed,” said Ken Weyler (R-Kingston), a member of the committee.
Contact Rep. Hess 485-9027
Rep. Weyler 642-3518