EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

August 9, 2011

NH state school aid amounts released

The state Department of Education just released the latest state adequacy aid figures, but local superintendents say there are no surprises.

They already know New Hampshire's new education funding formula will end the large fluctuations in state aid that made budgeting extremely difficult in the past. Some also know the new formula would allow them to restore programs and staff they were forced to cut earlier in the year.

For Londonderry school Superintendent Nate Greenberg, it means restoring 18 positions put on hold earlier this year. But 86 other district employees are still losing their jobs and funding for many programs was cut, he said.

Under the funding formula adopted by the Legislature in June, school districts will receive the same amount of money for fiscal 2012 as they did in fiscal 2011. The state Department of Education released the figures Friday.

Londonderry was to receive $13.3 million in state adequate education aid, but will now get $14.6 million. Other local school districts, such as Salem, lose money under the new formula.

Londonderry is using most of the additional $1.2 million it receives to offset a loss in the state's share of employer retirement costs.

A deliberative session is scheduled for Aug. 23 and a special district meeting set for Oct. 11 for voters to approve the transfer.

In Derry, a public hearing is scheduled for tonight on the district's plan to ask voters to restore $2.5 million to the school budget. A special school district meeting will be also be scheduled.

The district will receive $27.1 million in fiscal 2012, compared to $18.5 million.

Superintendent Mary Ellen Hannon has said it would be a relief to get money back under the new plan, proposed by Sen. James Rausch, R-Derry. She had been waiting to hear exactly how much her district would receive.

The Derry School District was forced to cut 60 jobs for fiscal 2012. In March, voters approved a $76.6 million budget, with $4.5 million in reductions from the previous year.

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