N.H. House Supports School Construction Bill

Fri January 13, 2012 - Northeast Edition

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) The House has given preliminary approval to changing New Hampshire’s school construction aid program to a system with the state prioritizing projects.

The House voted Jan. 4 without debate to send the bill that would create a ranking system to the Finance Committee. The goal is to target state aid to communities with the greatest need, something Democratic Gov. John Lynch has been calling for to ease the cost to the state while helping poorer communities renovate and replace schools.

The ranking system would end the state’s current blank-check approach to funding local aid requests. The state would instead choose projects that meet criteria to be developed by the Department of Education over the next two years.

Criteria would include: unsafe conditions; obsolete, inefficient or unsuitable facilities and enrollment shifts.