Executive Councilor Andru Volinski has been trotting around the state “explaining” education funding in New Hampshire. Volinski, who has all but said he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2020, has long played a role in education funding, having brought lawsuits against the state of New Hampshire that, thanks to an activist Supreme Court, forced the state to abandon targeted school aid for districts in need. Now, the state has to send aid to every district regardless of need. Many believe that Volinski’s education funding tour is a prelude to announcing his candidacy for governor. Many also believe he’s preparing the way for a broad-based income tax to “adequately fund” education.
Inherent in Volinski’s argument, an argument supported by bureaucrats, unions and the politicians that feed both, is the assumption that more money is needed to improve education. That’s an assumption that many reject and thanks to Ian Underwood and Jon DiPietro an entirely different set of questions is being asked. I invited them to fill in for me, ironically because I was attending a budget meeting of the Manchester Board of School Committee’s Committee on Finance, of which I am a member and past chairman, so that Ian could bring a presentation he’s prepared in response to Volinski’s to start raising other questions.
If you’re like me, you’ll find the data compelling, the questions thought provoking and the conclusions inescapable. We keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. Our kids and our entire society are suffering as a result. Thanks to Ian, with an assist from Jon, the kinds of questions needed to change the discussion and focus it on achievement are being raised. We need to help raise them and others if we are to really help our kids, our society and ultimately ourselves and our country. It’s not an overstatement to say our futures depend on it.
Enjoy and share if you want to help change the conversation.
Richard H. Girard, Manchester Board of School Committee at-Large