ConVal’s lawsuit centers on a dispute over NH’s “statutory duty” to fund education

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

BRENTWOOD — When the ConVal School District’s challenge to New Hampshire’s public school funding system was opened before Judge David Rove in Rockingham County Superior Court last week, District Attorney Anthony Galderry noted, “This case is just about whether school districts can shift costs to all payers.” taxes across the state.

The question, however, will be said, the school districts pursuing the case will be whether, after three decades, the state will meet its constitutional obligations as ordered by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in its founding rulings at Claremont in 1993 and 1997.

Subsequently, the court determined that the state constitution places on the state an “unequivocal statutory duty” to provide an appropriate education for every child and to “ensure adequate funding.” It further ordered that, to the extent property is taxed to finance this obligation, it should be “equally assessed and uniform in price throughout the State.”

Rockingham County Superior Court Judge David Roof Is Presiding Over The Suit, Which Is Being Brought By Conval And 10 Other New Hampshire School Districts.

This is the second bite of apple from Conval, and also for Rove. The district, made up of nine towns in southwestern New Hampshire, first sued in 2019 in Cheshire County Superior Court, claiming that the state was failing to live up to its obligation to fund adequate education. At the time, Rove found that the state was violating its constitutional duty to fund appropriate education, but refused to specify its components or cost, which he acknowledged was the prerogative of the legislature.