Candidates weigh in on educational funding

By Breanna Edelstein
Published in the Eagle Tribune on October 25

See full article for responses from candidates in:

State Rep District 4- Sandown
State Rep District 14 – Atkinson, Plaistow
State Rep District 12 – Danville
State Senate District 23 – Danville, Sandown
State Senate District 19 – Windham, Derry, Hampstead
State Senate District 14 – Londonderry, Auburn, Hudson
State Rep District 5 – Londonderry
State Rep District 8 – Salem (below)
State Senate District 22 – Salem

This is how Salem candidates (State Rep Rockingham District 8 — Salem) responded to the question: “Do you agree with the way education is funded in New Hampshire? If so, why? If not, how would you change it? ” (In 50 words or less!)



GARY AZARIAN – Republican
The State of New Hampshire provides municipalities hundreds of millions to fund education, with each political sub-division adding funds through their property tax. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it works and maintains local control. I support legislation to change the allocation of funds given to the University system of New Hampshire. I want those funds used to offset the cost of instate tuition.

ARTHUR BARNES – Republican
No, most of the cost of public education in New Hampshire is funded by property owners. Those not derived from property taxes take a variety of routes as they journey from my wallet to the final destination. Reduced at each step for “administration fees.” I would shorten the journey.

I think education is funded properly in New Hampshire. You can spend a lot of money on education but it doesn’t mean kids will learn anything. If teachers want to teach, they will make sure kids learn.

If we want to maintain standards of quality and equality in our schools, we cannot rely solely on property taxes — great in more affluent communities, but not so in smaller, more rural ones. Finding more creative and fair ways of funding is important.

Our property taxes pays for education, along with federal funds. The state should treat charter schools as part of the public system. Since colleges in New Hampshire would rather put up new buildings that cost millions of dollars, and refuse to lower tuition rates, with the result that thousands of our students are drowning in debt, perhaps it would be better if the state helped pay for those students who are our best, and our brightest, with more partial, full-time scholarships. Providing, of course, that such students promised to stay and teach others, or work in New Hampshire industries for at least five years.

BETTY GAY – Republican
Property taxes fund education primarily, 7 percent from Federal plus some Lottery. I want SAUs to pay only the New Hampshire educational tax collected above their calculated “Universal” and “Differential” income based on a realistic cost per student, the current $3,600 is impossibly low. The problem – equal property assessments vary greatly across New Hampshire.

Funding education in New Hampshire, especially on the college level, needs to be increased. Because of state revenue issues we seem to be increasingly relying on our students to pay more at public universities making them among the most expensive in the nation. We should be promoting students to pursue a higher education in our state rather than having the brightest minds to be dissuaded by increasing tuition costs.

JOHN JANIGIAN — Republican
Education in NH is primarily funded through our local property tax dollars. Local control of education is important to me and to so many in NH. While there are difficulties with the current system, no change should be made without understanding all the repercussions.

SEAN LEWIS — Democrat
I disagree with the current funding model.  Properly funded education shouldn’t be an accident of geography.  A set rate of funding education – per pupil – must be instituted, without a cap, and communities that fund in excess of their needs should help communities who, alone, can’t reach that goal.

JOHN SYTEK – Republican
I would like to be able to change the school funding formula to one that targets state aid, so that poor districts receive more money and wealthy ones less.

The state does not fully fund our schools. Compensations to teachers’ pensions and building aid have been dropped. Schools receive 70 percent of the Special Education funds promised. If the state doesn’t pay these expenses, Salem property owners must. This downshifting of expenses to the local communities needs to end.

Did not respond: Scott G. Abercrombie/Democrat, Eleanor Carpenito/Democrat, Fred Doucette/Republican, John Manning/Republican.

On October 7, the American Federation of Teachers-NH (AFT) issued a press release about the candidates that they had endorsed.

In announcing the endorsements, AFT-NH President Douglas Ley said that, “After careful review of the candidates’ positions and record on issues important to our members and working families in NH, we are pleased to endorse these candidates for the NH House. AFT-NH supports those candidates who will move New Hampshire forward and will focus their efforts on legislation to improve the lives of NH families.”
The candidates from Salem that received this endorsement are:

The National Educators Association of NH (NEA-NH) endorsed these candidates running for the nine seats from Salem for NH House of Representatives:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *