The newsletter of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies
In this issue:
Center Graph of the Month
The Elimination of Local Aid – Impact on the State’s Old Industrial Centers
New Hampshire state budget discussions have included reducing revenue sharing from the state to New Hampshire's cities and towns. New Hampshire’s former industrial centers suffer more if they lose Fixed Revenue Sharing aid than they would if they lost the Meals and Rooms distribution.
The Center offers the Graph of the Month from the array of data we use to understand the policy landscape across a wide range of policy issues.
The Graph of the Month continues our mission to provide new perspectives on available data which will raise new ideas and improve policy debates through quality information and analysis on issues shaping New Hampshire's future.
New Hampshire’s Latest School Funding Formula
In October 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that in enacting SB 539 (2008) the State has met the mandate to define an adequate education. We explore the evolution of this legislation and provide a comparative analysis to the previous school funding formula.
SB 539 in its entirety would increase state aid to schools; larger communities are the primary beneficiaries. The total estimated state cost in FY2010 will amount to approximately $941 million, $50 million more than the state’s commitment in FY2009. In aggregate, the result of this plan is an average state grant of $2,943 per pupil to cover the cost of an adequate education. This represents an increase of 11% over the average per pupil grant under the previous school funding formula for fiscal year 2009 of $2,650.
Compared to current state-wide average cost per pupil – $11,416 – the per pupil state grant under the SB 539 plan plus the statewide education property tax (SWEPT) contribution will cover less than half that cost, at $4,793 per pupil, on average. Although this represents an increase in the state support over the previous school funding formula, local communities will maintain their significant role in funding local schools.
Public Health and the State Budget, 1999-2009
Public health functions cover a vast array of services that include both direct services designed to increase specific population’s health and more general programs designed to improve the health of the entire population.
Total appropriations for public health have increased over the past 10 years both in aggregate terms and on a per capita inflation-adjusted basis. Total funding – including both federal and state resources – for public health activities was $83 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 and $167 million in Fiscal Year 2009, an increase of almost $84 million. On a per capita inflation-adjusted basis, public health appropriations grew at almost 3% per year, a rate higher than for the budget overall, at 2%.
With respect to general fund appropriations – those that are funded by state specific taxes and fees, which are the focus of much of the legislative budget process – public health appropriations are growing slightly more quickly than general fund appropriations for all services. The primary sources of growth in appropriations for general funds were treatment and prevention services for alcohol and substance abuse programs through the Governor’s Commission funds and an appropriation in 2009 for a comprehensive cancer screening program. Readers should note that a significant portion of the growth in the public health program was eliminated in the Governor’s most recent budget reductions.
Papers of Interest
Strafford County Drug Treatment Court: Final Performance Evaluation
These performance reviews provide feedback to people working in the drug court program, counties currently planning or considering a drug court, and members of the broader public with an interest in alternative sentencing programs in New Hampshire.
Strafford County’s experience offers some important lessons for other drug court programs or other community correction or alternative sentencing programs in the state.
Mental Health Services in New Hampshire’s Schools
As many as 55,756 children, ages 5 – 19, have a diagnosable mental health disorder and almost 14,000 have a serious emotional disturbance. Most of these children are educated in the New Hampshire public school system. Understanding if, and how, public schools manage the behavioral health issues of their students is of obvious public policy significance.
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Policy Points informs you about our current research topics, including highlights of the important policy discussions going on in and around the State of New Hampshire. Any links to other websites do not necessarily represent an endorsement of that organization by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies
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