Open Letter from NHcafe to everyone in New Hampshire

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2006


New Hampshire Communities forAdequate Funding of Education (“NHCafe”), a coalition of nineteen school district units and towns, challenged House Bill 616 because it fails to provide an adequate education to every public school student in New Hampshire . Under the New Hampshire Constitution the obligation to provide an adequate education lies with the Legislature. It must define, cost out, fund and ensure delivery of an adequate education to fulfill its constitutional responsibility. That is not a responsibility the constitution has assigned to the Judiciary. Its responsibility is limited to determining whether a law enacted by the Legislature – here, House Bill616 - meets the four requirements of the constitution.

NHCafe challenged House Bill 616 because it neither defines, costs out nor ensures delivery of an adequate education. Last week the Hillsborough County Superior Court agreed. It ruled that House Bill 616 is unconstitutional for several reasons. Two of the reasons are so plain and self-evident that we cannot help but think the Attorney General must think so too.

There can be no question that House Bill 616 says not one word about the cost out an adequate education, one of the four constitutional requirements. For that reason alone, House Bill 616 is unconstitutional. The second clear cut reason is that House Bill 616 does not ensure delivery of an adequate education, another requirement of the constitution. It fails to remedy several flaws which the Supreme Court pointed out in 2002 when it ruled that the Legislature had not then provided for an adequate education.

The time is now to devote our collective efforts to education not more litigation. There still is time in this session for the Legislature to pass a law that defines, costs out, funds and ensures delivery of an adequate education. NHCafe stands ready to assist in any way the Legislature believes would be helpful.

For Further information contact;

Steve Young 603432-4800

Nathan Greenberg 603432-6920 x103

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