Internet Good Source Of Info on New Hampshire School Crisis

 

With the New Hampshire state government fast approaching a court-imposed April 1 deadline to find a new way to finance public schools, it's easy for the public to learn about the crisis and find out how proposed fixes will affect them. There's a wealth of information on the Internet. In this report, stateline.org identifies some Web sites focusing on the crisis and tells you what you will find on each of them.

Every proposal being considered would change New Hampshire's tax structure one way or another. As late as February 22, the Claremont, N.H. School Board said none of the proposals in the legislature would solve the problem.

That school board took the state to court because reliance on local property taxes to pay for education created disparities in spending between rich and poor school districts. Claremont argued that the system was unconstitutional, and in December 1997, the state Supreme Court agreed.

The court has refused to extend its deadline for enactment of a new school financing system. The New Hampshire House on March approved a plan that, among other things, would impose a statewide income tax for the first time in New Hampshire history, and the state senate seems likely to follow suit. But Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, has vowed to veto any statewide income tax, and there do not appear to be enough votes in the legislature to override the governor.

Here are some of the Web sites following the crisis:

 
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