Portsmouth fears return to ‘donor town’ education funding in NH

PORTSMOUTH – It’s a tale as old as time in New Hampshire. 

Despite several state Supreme Court rulings, including two findings of unconstitutionality, the income and sales tax-less Granite State cannot come to a consensus over how to adequately and equitably fund its public schools. 

According to 2018 Census data, New Hampshire’s percentage of state funding per student was the lowest in the country. And its reliance on property taxes goes unmatched. 

The city of Portsmouth has been working quietly to lead a renewed lobbying effort to bat down a potential proposal alluded to in a 181-page final report released in December by the state Legislature’s Commission to Study School Funding. 

The report floated a possible revival of the “donor/receiver town” education funding model that previously existed in the state. No such legislation has been introduced yet for this session, and officials in Portsmouth are hoping it will stay that way. 

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