Public education in New Hampshire
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Studies and reports
- 10 Issues
- 11 School districts
- 12 Education ballot measures
- 13 Recent news
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
List of school districts in New Hampshire
Public education in New Hampshire
School board elections portal
The mission statement of the New Hampshire Department of Education reads:
|“||To provide educational leadership and services which promote equal educational opportunities and quality practices and programs that enable New Hampshire residents to become fully productive members of society.||”|
The New Hampshire State Board of Education has seven members who are appointed by the governor and executive council. Five members are chosen from each of the five executive councilor districts, and two are selected from the state at large.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The New Hampshire State Board of Education adopted these standards on July 13, 2010. According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, the state will begin rolling out new assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards during the 2014-2015 school year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how New Hampshire compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in New Hampshire as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for New Hampshire's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||115||0.06%||0.42%|
|Two or More||3,594||1.87%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
Students in New Hampshire are most likely to attend rural or suburban schools. This is similar to students in neighboring states. In Vermont and Maine, students are most likely to attend rural schools, and in Massachusetts, students are most likely to attend suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont), New Hampshire had a higher or equal percentage of students score at or above proficient in math in fourth and eighth grades.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for New Hampshire was lower than the national average at 1.3 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 1.3 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in New Hampshire
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: New Hampshire state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 23.5 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is up 1.3 percentage points, a 5.9 percent increase in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 22.2 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Over half of New Hampshire's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for about 37 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 6.5 percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in New Hampshire totaled approximately $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for New Hampshire and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in New Hampshire totaled approximately $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for New Hampshire and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in New Hampshire, the average salary increased by 7.8 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. New Hampshire ranked 30th overall, or average, which was in the middle tier of five.
The main unions related to the New Hampshire school system are the NEA New Hampshire (NEA-NH), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), and New Hampshire Federation of Teachers (AFT-NH), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
List of local New Hampshire school unions:
- NEA New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Federation of Teachers
- Manchester Education Association
- AFT Nashua
- AFT Bow
- Rochester Federation Of Teachers
- Salem Education Association
- AFT Hudson
- Keene Educational Association
- AFT Plaistow
- Concord Education Association
- See also: New Hampshire government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the New Hampshire School Boards Association.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
New Hampshire received a score of 88.0, or a B+ average in the "chance for success" category. This was above the national average. Except for the "chance for success" category, the state's highest score was in "school finance" at 81.4, or a B- average. The lowest score was in "the teaching profession" at 63.9, or a D average. New Hampshire had the third highest score in the "chance for success" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of New Hampshire and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|New Hampshire||88.0 (B+)||78.8 (C+)||76.0 (C)||63.9 (D)||81.4 (B-)||78.6 (C+)|
|Maine||78.8 (C+)||72.6 (C)||69.6 (C-)||67.8 (D+)||83.9 (B)||82.1 (B-)|
|Massachusetts||91.4 (A-)||83.7 (B)||88.4 (B+)||78.7 (C+)||83.5 (B)||75.0 (C)|
|Vermont||86.4 (B)||77.3 (C+)||82.7 (B)||70.6 (C-)||86.0 (B)||71.4 (C-)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
ABCs of School Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice publishes a comprehensive guide to private school choice programs across the U.S. In its 2014 edition, the Foundation reviewed the New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Program. The program offers tax credits to businesses that donate to nonprofits that provide scholarships to private schools. The Foundation found that the tax credit program is limited in how many students can receive funding, as both the tax credit and scholarships are capped at a certain amount each year. In addition, only students whose household income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line can receive funding. Combined, these restrictions make scholarships available to less than one percent of students in the state. The full Friedman Foundation report can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
Manchester School District audit
The state's largest school district, Manchester, underwent a significant operations audit in 2013. Curriculum Management Systems published the audit on June 26, 2013. The district spent $40,000 to commission the report, which criticized the size of the 15-member school board and its two-year terms as causes of instability in the district. The audit stated that, "Declining student enrollment, funding reductions, board disharmony, aging school facilities, and disparities in student performance have been long-standing issues facing the district." The auditors added that, "the educational program a student experiences at one school may differ widely from the education a student receives at another school," and recommended that the school board create "written policies, plans, and procedures to provide a foundation for a consistent educational program" across the district. Board member Arthur J. Beaudry disagreed with several of the findings and recommendations in the audit, arguing that, "The board is reluctant to pursue big changes too much because that's seen as micromanaging. So they back up, or at least some board members do."
New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Ted Siefer praised the school district in June 2014 for improving its academic performance and financial health following the report. In particular, he highlighted that the district had slashed its student dropout rate by approximately half over the 2013-2014 school year.
- See also: School board elections portal
- Regular districts serve a single community and are governed by elected boards.
- Cooperative districts serve multiple communities with board composition and selection methods that vary according to the bylaws of each district.
- Interstate districts have territory and students in multiple states and are formed as part of the Maine-New Hampshire Interstate School Compact and the New Hampshire-Vermont Interstate School Compact.
- Dependent county districts serve unincorporated areas of a county and are governed by the board of county commissioners. The only dependent county district in existence is Coos County School District.
- Dependent city districts serve specific cities and operate under the fiscal control of those cities. The governing bodies in these districts are either elected or appointed by the city council. The mayor of each city serves as the chair of the board. The dependent city districts include Berlin, Dover, Franklin, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth.
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment, Academic Performance Index (API) scores and per-pupil spending per Average Daily Membership in Attendance (ADM-A):
|Student enrollment||Per-pupil spending per ADM-A|
|1.) Manchester||1.) Errol|
|2.) Nashua||2.) Newington|
|3.) Concord||3.) Nelson|
|4.) Londonderry||4.) Harrisville|
|5.) Rochester||5.) New Castle|
|6.) Bedford||6.) Pittsburg|
|7.) Salem||7.) Monroe|
|8.) Timberlane Regional||8.) Jackson|
|9.) Merrimack||9.) Freedom|
|10.) Hudson||10.) Moultonborough|
School board composition
New Hampshire school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed. New Hampshire school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:
- At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
- Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
- Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.
School boards can consist of three or more members, although there must be an odd-numbered total of members. School board members serve three-year terms.
New Hampshire does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that municipalities could not impose term limits on elected officials such as school board members because, "in doing so, municipalities impermissibly intrude into the legislative authority of the general court."
Here are several quick facts about New Hampshire's school board elections in 2015:
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Manchester School District with 14,452 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Nashua School District with 11,791 K-12 students.
- Manchester School District has the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with 14 seats up for election.
- Nashua School District has the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with five seats up for election.
The districts listed below served 26,243 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 New Hampshire School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Manchester School District||11/3/2015||14||15||14,452|
|Nashua School District||11/3/2015||5||9||11,791|
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in New Hampshire, a person must be a registered voter in the district. A person must not be a district moderator, treasurer, auditor or a salaried employee of the district.
New Hampshire school board candidates must form political committees to oversee their campaign finances. Campaign finance reports are filed with the local election authority.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked one statewide ballot measure relating to education.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "New Hampshire + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- New Hampshire state budget and finances
- New Hampshire Department of Education
- List of school districts in New Hampshire
- School choice in New Hampshire
- Charter schools in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- New Hampshire Department of Education
- New Hampshire State Board of Education
- New Hampshire Schools
- New Hampshire Charter Schools
- New Hampshire School Assessment
- New Hampshire Staffing and Salary Reports
- New Hampshire State School Ratings by PSK12
- New Hampshire School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- New Hampshire Department of Education, "About Us," accessed June 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- New Hampshire State Board of Education, "State Board of Education," accessed June 2, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- New Hampshire Department of Education, "About the Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "New Hampshire teachers unions," accessed May 8, 2010
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- The Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, "The ABCs of School Choice," 2014 Edition
- New Hampshire Union Leader, "School district audit report lands with a thud," June 29, 2013
- Manchester School District, "Curriculum Audit of the Manchester School District," June 27, 2013
- New Hampshire Union Leader, "Ted Siefer's City Hall: Manchester school board should be proud of its accomplishments," June 28, 2014
- New Hampshire School Boards Association, "School Board Service," accessed July 11, 2014
- New Hampshire Department of Education, "Enrollments in New Hampshire Public Schools," accessed August 8, 2013
- New Hampshire Department of Education, "Cost Per Pupil by District, 2011-2012," accessed August 8, 2013
- "Charles P. Forsberg v. Kearsarge Regional School District," May 7, 2010
- New Hampshire Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance," accessed July 11, 2014
State of New Hampshire
|State executive officers||
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