When the school bell rings in September, there will not be a single new dollar of support for our children attending kindergarten under a bill signed off on by Republicans. In the following year, schools will receive only 80 percent of adequacy funds. Thereafter, full payment for kindergarten adequacy will depend upon the state’s success at keno. This represents an 11th-hour partisan departure from what Senate Bill 191 had looked like at any point during the legislative process, and this keno-for-kindergarten marriage has big problems.
The above is the opening paragraph of an opinion piece written by Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and Senators David Watters and Dan Feltes that appeared June 10 in the Concord Monitor.
On Thursday, June 22 the NH House of Representatives will vote on this latest proposal that has now run into constitutional problems.
Volinsky, Watters and Feltes continue: The 11th-hour Republican deal under consideration fails the same constitutional test because it does not pay for full-day kindergarten now and will not pay for it in the future if keno revenues are insufficient.
It's entirely possible that the new bill will fail, but I agree with the authors that if the bill fails, I will remain committed to forging a bipartisan compromise to fully fund kindergarten with a new, constitutional bill.
I agree that our schools, our taxpayers and, most importantly, our kids deserve nothing less.