N.H. Senate to vote on constitutional school aid amendment

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The New Hampshire Senate votes today on whether the state constitution should be changed so poor towns could be singled out for state school aid.

Democratic Governor John Lynch, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Foster and Senate Republican Leader Ted Gatsas crafted a constitutional amendment that they say will allow the state to stop sending a base per pupil amount of aid to every town. They argue wealthier towns don’t need the state’s help like poor towns do.

For a decade, the state has divvied up between $800 and 900 million in annual state school aid. Lawmakers have argued not only about who gets the money and how much, but whether property-rich towns deserved any aid.

Lynch and amendment supporters believe the state should send all or most aid to the poorest towns, which means towns in the middle and upper end of the property wealth spectrum would get little or no money.

The Senate passed a similar amendment last year, but the bill did not make it through the House.

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