Adequacy Plaintiffs Win Summary Judgement in New Hampshire

Last Updated: April 01, 2006

This article appeared in the April 2006 Rural Policy Matters.

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The plaintiff school districts in New Hampshire's current adequacy lawsuit, Londonderry School District v. State, have won summary judgment before a state superior court. In his ruling, Justice William Groff said that the legislature was failing its constitutional educational duty because it had not defined an adequate education, determined its cost, funded it, or ensured its delivery to New Hampshire students as directed in an earlier decision, Claremont v. Governor (2002).

Following this decision, the state's Senate President proposed a state constitutional amendment that would leave education funding to the legislature and Governor, to the exclusion of the courts. However, the current session is drawing short and the measure has been given little chance of passage. These types of amendments have been regularly proposed in New Hampshire since the original 1997 State Supreme Court ruling struck down the state's reliance on property taxes to fund education.

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