Thank You Senator Estabrook For Looking Out For The Little Guy

I love to compare other school finance disasters with what the school lobby is trying to ram through New Hampshire’s Legislature. Never do you find a pro-Claremont Funding Scam schemer holding any other state up as an example of how education EQUITY – ooops, we call it ADEQUACY now, works so well.

California was the first state to fall victim to a Claremont type extortion suit in the late 70’s. The schools there went from #1 in the country to a paltry 47th now. (All this with a property, sales, and income tax!)

But there is more! Like they didn’t get spanked enough through suits, bait and switch legislation is also “hurting the children’s” taxpaying parents. Here is how it was set up.

I n November of 2000 , California voters passed a ballot initiative known as Proposition 39, which for the first time, permitted school bonds to be approved with a 55% “super- majority” as an alternative to the historic 66%. They took the bait.

Since the pass age of Proposition 39, Californian’s school construction proponents have had the choice of whether to seek the old 66% supermajority thought special elections, or the new lower hurdle of 55% if they put the bond measure on a regularly scheduled ballot, limit the size of the bond, and agree to abide by several administrative requirements.

Local elections that rely on 55% approval have been very successful, with more than 80% passing!

Prior to 2001, more than 40% of local school bonds failed. From 1998 through November 2006, local bond elections generated $36.1 billion for school facilities.

Of the 931 elections under the two-thirds requirement from 1986 through 2006, 55% succeeded. Of the 393 elections relying on 55% approval between 2001 and 2006, 83% succeeded.

If you want to pass a school bond in California, a good old-fashioned political campaign is all you need – not necessarily a good plan for a new school to sell to voters. Turnout is the key to passing a 20 or 30 year bond, so along with the bricks piling up - so did the bond debt.

Now its 2008 and the State of California is in a financial squeeze of $16 billion dollars. Where do you suppose, frugil NH voter, that much red ink bling is going to come from – seeing as the Govenator borrowed billions to balance the budget last time around?

It looks like the public schools – which now depend on STATE money more than ever, may have to take a slight hit of about $4.8 billion.

And then we have The Granite State.

We have a pending Claremont scam suit promising MORE free state money to offset the dreaded, stable, locally controlled, property tax. (Its all “up there ^” in an alien transport vessel tucked behind the dark side of the moon.)

But this isn’t over!

We have an opportunity to stack up local bond debt in NH just like our friends in California are now going to pay for with a property tax instead of all the free state dollars. It is called:

SENATE BILL 479

AN ACT relative to the vote required for passage of school bonds.

SPONSORS: Sen. Estabrook, Dist 21; Sen. Kelly, Dist 10; Rep. M. Smith, Straf 7

COMMITTEE: Public and Municipal Affairs

ANALYSIS

This bill changes the required majority vote for passage of notes or bonds issued by a school district from 2/3 to 3/5.

Get the picture?