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New Hampshire

adequate education litigation Joe Luesse Nicole Phillips ThienVinh Nguyen

ThienVinh Nguyen

on 6 May 2010

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Transcript of New Hampshire

New Hampshire Joe Luesse
Nicole Phillips
ThienVinh Nguyen

Educational Policy Making and the Courts
Professor Michael A. Rebell
Spring 2010 New Hampshire Background State Demographics Political Landscape o Fluctuate in terms of blue/red state during presidential elections (red in 2000, 1998)...though they have been democrat-leaning as of late

o Libertarian stronghold – in favor of limited government
No general sales tax or income tax (along with Alaska)
Lowest overall tax burden in the nation, but the property tax is the country’s third highest
Even Democrat governors commit to “the pledge” of not introducing sales or income tax
The Free State Project (FSP) political movement, founded in 2001

o Advocate for local control vs. centralized control

o Country’s first impeachment trial of state supreme court – Chief Justice David Brock. Acquitted by legislature, but trial revealed that his votes (particularly in school finance) were unpopular

• Current governor: John Lynch (D)
• Governors are elected every 2 years, though there's no term limit

•New Hampshire General Court (majority rule; 2/3 to override presidential veto):

400 member Assembly:
Democratic Party, 225, 56%
Republican Party, 175, 44%
Independent, 1, 0.25%

24 member Senate:
Democratic Party, 14
Republican Party, 10
New Hampshire Litigation History
•Recognized the state’s responsibility to provide an adequate education

•Determined tax scheme used by state to fund education was unconstitutional

•Identified Kentucky standards as a guidepost for legislative efforts

LONDONDERRY (2006/2008)
•Ordered Legislative Branch to define “adequate education”

•Court terminates jurisdiction
Definitions of succcess PLAINTIFFS':
•Adequate education as a fundamental right
•Equity vs. equalizing funding

•Adequacy based on Kentucky (Rose) standards
•Coming up with a fair funding formula
•Stance with their adequacy definition: general (lack of details), deferring to legislative and executive branches (terminated jurisdiction in 2008)

•Reactionary based on Court decisions , narrow-focus
•Attempted to deal with funding scheme numerous times (through various bills) because they were mandated by the Court
•Defined adequate education (HB 927, June 2007):
Adopted portions of the state standards, based on the Minimum Standards for Public School Approval (2005) and the Curriculum Frameworks (2006)

Our definition of success ADEQUATE FUNDING:
•The Funding Formula Should Cover Additional Essential Components of an Adequate Education

•The State Should Pay a Bigger Share Under the Funding Formula


•State Aid Should Be Targeted to Towns with the Lowest Property Values & the Greatest Percentage of At-Risk Students

•Towns Should Be Held Harmless
•Curricula Focus on Critical Thinking Skills Development

•Success Should Be Measured by More Than the Standards for Public School Approval
•DOE Must be Permitted to Intervene in Schools & Districts That Fail to Make Progress

SYSTEMIC REFORMS •Improvement in Standardized Test Scores for Students in Poor Districts

•More Robust Kentucky Standards
•Equity in Bricks & Mortar

•Four-Year College Matriculation Across All Districts ULTIMATE OUTCOMES POLITICAL REFORM
• ↓ Libertarianism + ↓ Hyperlocalism = Adequate & Sustained State Aid

• Public Engagement = Adequate & Sustained State Aid
STABILITY OF REFORMS Remedial Theory "In key areas of state responsibility like education and welfare, state constitutions incorporate 'positive rights' that call for affirmatative governmental action." Courts have a duty to affirm such rights. (Rebell, 2009, p. 48)

With state courts' recognition that education is a positive right, state courts have a responsibility to remedy constitutional violations.

John Rawls' contention that "the fundamental criterion for judging any procedure is the justice of its likely results." Thus, state courts need to be invested in fulfilling its definition of success in adequate education. (Meaning, it must have effective remedies.)

The Court should inform the executive and legislative branches, as well as the public, of its "constitutional expectations."

Under the comparative institutional analysis approach, the courts' role in the process of major social change is essential (though they certainly can't do it on their own).

Courts must ensure that there is lasting constitutional compliance.

Population: 1,324,575 (July, 2009); NYC: 8 million
Density (per square mile): 146.6; NYC: 26,403
Median Household Income: $53,377; USA: $50,233.00 (2006)

By race (2000):
White, 97.56%
African-American, 1.05%
American Indian, 0.64%
Asian, 1.56%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 0.06%

lowest poverty rate in the country (7.6%), national average: 12.8%

Eductional Realities
One of the few states that has almost met "NCLB highly qualified teacher" standards (99%)
One of the country's lowest drop out rates (4%)
Chance of success: A- (EdWeek, 2010)
Relative high college enrollment rate (50%)
Mothers with the highest reported levels of mental and emotional health (Save the Children, 2009)
One of the top 10 states in the percentage of adults with associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees
Fourth- and eighth-grade students have scored higher in NEAP reading than students in other states (EdWeek, 2009)
School Finance and Accountability: C+/C (EdWeek, 2010)
Changes in Educational Funding From 1920-1999 (Pre-Claremont), the state would contribute 5-10% to the total education funding...while other states were usually at the 50% mark
1998-1999's breakdown of contributions to education: State 9%/Federal 4%/Local 87%).
Post 1999 (after Claremont litigation), the State has provided much more, through their "adequacy aid" formulation (2000-2001 = 52.6; 2008-2009 = 37%)
Per pupil spending has gone up: from $6,433 ($8205.34 adjusted for inflation) in 1998-1999 to $11,169, (2006) / 14th in rank, with national average at $9,963.

Per pupil spending (average): $11,745.55 (ranked 14th)

Disparities in per pupil spending (2008-2009):

Franklin: $8,471.58 (lowest)...per capita income: $17,155; 12.9% poverty rate; population: 8,405

Waterville Valley: $26,171.28 (highest)..per capita income: $26,400; 6.2% poverty rate (population: 257)

Hanover: $15,592.50...per capita income: $30,393; 9.1 poverty rate; population: 10,850

"After 20 years of battles, and despite repeated legislative action, the gap between property-rich and property-poor towns is almost as wide as it was in the worst of times." (Concord Monitor, Sept. 24, 2009)

Based on 2006-2007 data, New Hampshire ranked 44th in state contribution to total educational expenditures
Disparities remain... From Michael Rebell, Courts and Kids:

"Although the successful-remedies model vests continuing oversight responsibilites in state courts, it eschews the micromanaging and extensive judicial policy making that are the major concerns of critics of judicial activism." (p.86)

"The courts' main responsiblity is to make sure that the other branches do their job." (p. 86)

Thus, while the Court provide clear expectations and oversight, the legislative and executive branches must:
1) develop and implement challenging academic content and proficiency standards
2) provide adequate funding to all schools
3) put in place effective programs and accountability systems
4) demonstrate that student achievement has improved to the extent practicable
Parental and student input mechanisms
Support staff
School succcess to include more components than standardized tests
Full transcript