BIA offers support for school-funding amendment

The Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire says it would support a constitutional amendment to allow the state to target aid to school districts.

In a statement released Tuesday announcing a list of “principles” that the organization said “will guide the orgnanization in evaluating various education-funding alternatives,” BIA Chairman Mike Donahue, principal of Aries Engineering in Concord, said the organization supports “a fair and sustainable education-funding system and will support legislation that adheres to our core principles for funding primary and secondary education in New Hampshire.”

The BIA’s school-funding principles, approved by the organization’s board, are:

• “Primary and secondary education is a shared responsibility between municipal, state and federal governments.”
• “State education funds should be maximized through thoughtful targeting of aid to cities and towns most in need. BIA will support a constitutional amendment if required to accomplish this goal.”
• “The New Hampshire business community is the largest contributor of real dollars to the state Education Trust Fund. Any further increases in the business profits tax, business enterprise tax or property taxes applicable to business will put the state economy at risk and hurt New Hampshire’s competitive tax environment vis-à-vis other states and countries.”
• “No income tax and no sales tax are key components of the New Hampshire advantage, which must be maintained if we are to continue our economic prosperity.”

“We need to ensure our students continue to receive a quality education in New Hampshire so they become highly skilled and productive members of the workforce,” said Jim Roche, BIA president. “We want to work with the Legislature to find a fair funding solution, one that recognizes that different communities have different needs and one that allows the state the flexibility to meet those needs.” – JEFF FEINGOLD

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