The great education debate - CACR 18

Tomorrow, May 10th at 9 AM, the state will be holding a public hearing for CACR 18, John Lynch’s proposed constitutional amendment to cover the adequate funding of our education system. The more I’ve read up on this bill the more problems and flaws I see with it.

The biggest problem I have with it is the fact the state legislator is being asked to vote on something without defining the cost of what they are voting on. Would you work out details of a contract for payment without knowing the bottom line of what you’d actually be paying? That’s essentially what Lynch is asking of the legislation. Agree on the contract without knowing the bottom line or for that matter where the money will even come from. But let’s face it, when it comes to state verse local funding we’re really arguing about whether we want the money to come out of our left pocket or our right pocket. Either way it’s our money.

Both the NEA (National Education Association), the New Hampshire Children's Alliance and the NHAC (New Hampshire Advantage Coalition) have all come out against it as well sighting a number of problems they have with it as well. These are groups from BOTH sides of the political spectrum. Even the school administrators involved in the original Claremont lawsuit have come out against it.

NEA points out the following as some of the reasons against this bill:

-This amendment would diminish New Hampshire children’s constitutional right to an adequate education. Since the Legislature could redefine an adequate education every year, it is no guarantee of a constitutional right at all.

-The amendment would not provide the predictability that local school districts need in determining their budgets, because future Legislatures could change the definition of adequacy and the funding formula to meet their political agendas.

-It would do little or nothing to provide property tax relief for the majority of New Hampshire towns.

If Lynch wants to truly improve education in the state of NH then why not look at real solutions. Open the market up to competition. Give parents more choices for their children. Look to give schools more flexibility in designing programs for kids of different ability levels. Instead we have a Governor who is looking to move further away from what is proven to be more effective in favor of a direction which according to NHAC direction Gardner Goldsmith “states who adopted standards to gauge student performance without any idea of the cost, ended up with more lawsuits and higher taxes.” So what’s the goal here folks? Better education for our children? Or simply more bureaucracy and an even higher costing education system which is not only no better then what we currently have but chances are will be worse?