1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281 Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com

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City of Portsmouth 

About the Coalition- How we got here

June 6, 2012 - NH House rejects ed funding constitutional amendment, CACR12, for true targeted education aid by 13 just votes.

Feb. 16, 2012- Coalition Communities members, business leaders and lawmakers endorse CACR12 ed funding amendment.

Nov. 30, 2011- House kills Governor Lynch’s proposed ed funding amendment.

Oct. 21, 2011 - Governor Lynch, House Speaker Bill O’Brien and Sen. Nancy Stiles address Coalition meeting in support of passing an ed funding constitutional amendment.

June 22, 2011- Legislature approves formula to fund education without Donor towns (HB337), avoiding $17 million in forced donations scheduled to begin 7/1/2011. Legislature also approves Coalition’s backup bill (HB622) to allow tax bill adjustments if there are changes to ed funding grants or if Donors return. House kills CACR14 constitutional amendment.

Oct. 18 & 25, 2010- Coalition holds information sessions warning almost half of NH’s municipalities will suffer education aid losses unless a new ed funding bill is passed.

Aug. 17, 2010- Coalition representatives meet with Department of Revenue Administration to discuss State collection of Statewide Education Property Tax, which DRA opposes.

May 17, 2010 - House kills SB465 to extend the ed funding formula’s hold-harmless collar beyond July 1, 2011.

April 1, 2009- Senate tables CACR11, targeted aid ed funding constitutional amendment.

Oct. 15, 2008 - NH Supreme Court dismisses Londonderry lawsuit challenging ed funding law that removes “Donors,” saying the case is moot because a new formula is being implemented.

June 10, 2008 - Gov. Lynch allows SB539 to cost out an adequate education, which also reinstates “Donors,” to become law without his signature to meet Supreme Court-imposed deadline to establish a per-pupil adequacy cost.However, the Legislature also had passed SB530, which reinforces SB539 provisions to stall the return of Donors until July 1, 2011.

May 14, 2008 - NH House kills CACR34 ed funding constitutional amendment.

Feb. 1, 2008 - Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Costing an Adequate Education approves its report to set the cost at $3,466 per student.

Aug. 27, 2007 - Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Costing an Adequate Education begins meeting to define the cost of adequacy

June 27, 2007- Legislature approves a definition of education adequacy.

June 14, 2007 - Senate defeats CACR19 ed funding targeted aid constitutional amendment; House on June 6 had killed the Senate-passed CACR18.

Feb. 7, 2007 - Joint Education Task Force on Adequacy begins holding meetings across the state to gather public input on the elements that should define an adequate education.

Sept. 8, 2006- NH Supreme Court rules the Legislature has not defined a constitutionally adequate education and sets a June 30, 2007, deadline to do so, saying that whatever it defines as adequacy, the State must fund for every student.

April 19, 2006 - NH Supreme Court accepts the State's appeal of lower court ruling that the latest education funding law is unconstitutional.

March 8, 2006 - Hillsborough Superior Court Judge William Groff agrees with constitutional challenge to new ed funding law by Londonderry, Merrimack and the Coalition for Adequate Funding of Education.

Feb. 13, 2006 - Governor Lynch signs technical correction by Legislature to allow Donor communities to spend excess statewide property taxes on education in their own towns.

Aug. 10, 2005 - NH Education Department releases spreadsheet showing three Donor towns, rather than one as expected, under new House Bill 616 education funding law.

July 16, 2005 - House Bill 616, virtually eliminating Donor towns and with a low Statewide Property Tax, becomes law without the Governor's signature. Two legal challenges later filed.

June 15, 2005 - NH House overwhelmingly concurs with Senate-passed amendments to House Bill 616 rather than risk return to previous law and numerous Donor towns.

June 9, 2005 - Senate passes version of HB616 based on Gov. Lynch's proposal backed by Coalition to eliminate the Statewide Property Tax and Donor towns, but minutes later adopts amendment by Sen. Gatsas to retain the SWPT. He says only Hebron will be a Donor town.

March 24, 2005 - House Education Committee retains the Coalition's HB684 for further study, passes melded HB616 that includes Governor's proposal built upon our principles.

Feb. 2, 2005 - Coalition's updated education funding plan is assigned Bill Number 684 and sent to the Education Committee.

Sept. 7, 2004 - Coalition Communities host Gubernatorial Candidates Forum with John Lynch, Paul McEachern and Charles Tarbell. Gov. Benson withdraws, citing scheduling conflict.

June 9, 2004 - Gov. Benson allows the SB302 education funding bill to become law after Legislature passes version reinstating Donor towns that was crafted by a House-Senate conference committee without public hearings. Conference Committee action later becomes center of two legal challenges.

Dec. 15, 2003 - House-Senate "Methods of Distribution of Education Aid Under Existing Law Committee" recommends Legislature tweak the new education funding law, but retain the FY05 statewide property tax rate of $3.24 per $1,000. SB302 is introduced on Jan. 7, 2004.

July 8, 2003 - Gov. Benson allows a new education funding bill (amended HB 608) to become law without his signature, eliminating all Donors except Newington and New Castle by Fiscal Year 2005. The Coalition calls it a major step forward, and offers to work with House-Senate committee that will report back by Nov. 15 on how the law can be fine-tuned. 

May 22, 2003 - The Senate kills HB 717 and instead adopts a plan by Sen. Ted Gatsas.

April 10, 2003 - NH House passes HB717, the Coalition's targeted education aid amended to delay implementation by two years, and sends it to the Senate for consideration.

March 6, 2003 - The House Ways and Means Committee votes 15-6 to give HB717 an "ought to pass" recommendation. The Committee amends the bill to "de-couple" it from the constitutional amendment, CACR 13, which is retained in the Education Committee.

Jan. 30, 2003 - CACR13, a constitutional amendment designed to accompany HB 717, is introduced by Rep. Gionet on behalf of the Coalition Communities.

Jan. 9, 2003 - House Bill 717 to target aid, the Coalition's bill developed after six months of work by the nation's top education experts, is introduced by Rep. Edmond Gionet, R-Lincoln.

Nov. 5, 2002 - New Governor and Legislature elected, bringing new hope to the Coalition Communities' effort to find a permanent solution to the education-funding problem.

June 13, 2002 - The Coalition Communities hosts an Education Funding Forum for gubernatorial candidates, all of whom promise to solve the education-funding problem.

April 25, 2002 - Senate refuses to participate in a Conference Committee on the House-passed HB1462 to sunset the statewide property tax.

April 11, 2002 - NH Supreme Court rules NH must make local school districts accountable for student performance as part of its duty to provide a constitutionally adequate education.

March 7, 2002 - The NH House defeats CACR 35, a constitutional amendment to eliminate Donor towns but passes HB1462 to sunset the statewide property tax on Jan. 1, 2004.

January 2002 - CACR35, a "hold harmless" constitutional amendment to eliminate Donor communities, is introduced in the NH Legislature with major bipartisan leadership support.

Sept. 10, 2001 - New Castle selectmen hold a public hearing on a petition to invoke Article 10 of the NH Constitution, the Right of Revolution. About 80 people attend.

Sept. 5, 2001 - Claremont, Allenstown, Pittsfield, Franklin and Lisbon return to court, asking the NH Supreme Court to declare the new education funding system unconstitutional and set a deadline for a new plan.

Sept. 4, 2001 - The NH Supreme Court, on the same 3-2 vote, won’t reconsider overturning the Rockingham County Superior Court ruling that the state property tax is unconstitutional.

Aug. 29, 2001 -150 people attend the Rye selectmen’s public hearing on a petition to invoke Article 10, the Right of Revolution.

July 31, 2001 - Over 250 people attend a public hearing on a petition to the Newington Board of Selectmen to invoke Article 10 of the NH Constitution, the Right of Revolution.

June 26, 2001 - State Legislature approves a FY 2003 budget that makes the state property tax permanent. It reduces the tax from $6.60 to $5.80, but higher property values will cost communities an additional $16.4 million at the "lower" rate.

May 3, 2001 - NH Supreme Court, on a 3-2 vote, overturns Galway's decision. The court finds "serious" flaws but no unconstitutionality, or "pattern of disproportionate taxation."

February 2001 - State appeals Judge Galway's decision.

Jan. 17, 2001 - Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Galway agrees with the Sirrell petitioners that the statewide property tax is unconstitutional, orders reimbursement of the $884 million raised since 1999.

December 2000 - NH Supreme Court rejects a GOP-backed plan to distribute more school aid to poor communities by shifting some of the burden back on the local property tax.

December 1999 - Portsmouth Mayor Evelyn Sirrell, Kenneth Fox and Russell Wakefield go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the statewide property tax.

Nov. 3, 1999 - Legislature enacts HB999 establishing an interim statewide property tax of $6.60 per $1,000 valuation dedicated to education but schedules it to expire in 2003. 

May 24, 1999 - Coalition of 22 donor communities forms to fight the statewide property tax.

April 1999 - Legislature enacts House Bill 117, which is based on a statewide property tax and includes a five-year phase-in for about 50 donor towns, later overturned.

February 1999 - Portsmouth officials testify against state property tax and warn legislators about its dubious constitutionality.

November 1998 - NH Supreme Court rejects the state's plea for more time to develop a fairer way to pay for schools.

June 1998 - NH Supreme Court rejects Gov. Shaheen's ABC school financing reform plan, which requires the state - not wealthy towns - to pay to help poor communities provide adequate schools.

December 17, 1997 - NH Supreme Court rules the education funding system is unconstitutional due to widely varying tax burdens, and orders an equitable system implemented by April 1, 1999.

December 1996 - Judge George Manias rules State's system of relying on local property taxes for 90 percent of school funding provides children with an "adequate" education.

December 1993 - NH Supreme Court rules the state must provide a constitutionally adequate education (Claremont I).

June 12, 1991 - The towns of Claremont, Pittsfield, Allenstown, Franklin and Lisbon file a Superior Court suit questioning the way New Hampshire funds education.

 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281 Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com