TITLE XV
EDUCATION

Chapter 198
SCHOOL MONEY

District Taxes

Section 198:1 to 198:3

    198:1 to 198:3 Repealed by 1999, 17:58, VII, eff. April 29, 1999. –

Section 198:4

    198:4 Estimates. – The school board of each district in its annual report shall state in detail the additional sums of money, if any, which will be required during the ensuing fiscal year for the support of the public schools, for the purchase of textbooks, scholars' supplies, flags and appurtenances, for the payment of the tuition of the pupils in the district in high schools, academies, and any private school approved as a school tuition program by the school board in accordance with law, and for the payment of all other statutory obligations of the district.

Source. RS 72:2. CS 76:2. GS 77:2. GL 85:2. PS 88:2. 1909, 52:1. 1915, 68:1. 1919, 106:21. 1921, 85, VI:4. PL 121:4. RL 140:4. 2017, 182:6, eff. Aug. 28, 2017. 2021, 106:4, eff. Aug. 5, 2021.

Section 198:4-a

    198:4-a Report of Appropriations Voted. –
I. The commissioner of revenue administration shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to blanks for certifying appropriations by the school board and the information which they must contain.
II. The school board shall, annually within 20 days of the close of the meeting as required in RSA 21-J:34, II, certify to the commissioner of revenue administration, the state department of education and the board of selectmen upon said blanks provided by the commissioner, a certificate of the several appropriations voted by the district and estimated revenues, so far as known.
III. The commissioner of revenue administration shall examine such certificates and delete any appropriation which is not made in accordance with the law, and adjust any sum which may be used as a setoff against the amount appropriated when it appears to the commissioner of revenue administration such adjustment is in the best public interest.
IV. The commissioner of revenue administration shall compute the rate percent of taxation for school district purposes from such certificate.

Source. 1963, 120:6. 1973, 544:8. 1981, 128:28. 1994, 147:7, eff. July 22, 1994.

Section 198:4-b

    198:4-b Contingency Fund. –
I. A school district annually by an article separate from the budget and all other articles in the warrant, or the governing body of a city upon recommendation of the school board, when the operation of the schools is by a department of the city, may establish a contingency fund to meet the cost of unanticipated expenses that may arise during the year. A detailed report of all expenditures from the contingency fund shall be made annually by the school board and published with their report.
II. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a school district by a vote of the legislative body may authorize, indefinitely until specific rescission, the school district to retain any unused portion of the year-end unassigned general funds, from the preceding fiscal year in subsequent fiscal years, provided that the total amount of year-end unassigned general funds does not exceed, in any fiscal year, 5 percent of the current fiscal year's net assessment under RSA 198:5.
(a) Prior to expending retained general funds, the school board shall hold a prior public hearing on the action to be taken with such funds. Notice of the time, place, and subject of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the relevant municipality at least 7 days before the meeting is held.
(b) An annual accounting and report of the activities of the retained general funds shall be presented to the school board of the district and published in the annual report.
III. The legislative body of the city of Manchester, upon recommendation of the school committee, may authorize, indefinitely until specific rescission, the school district to retain year-end unassigned general funds.

Source. 1965, 123:4. 1998, 389:12, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. 2012, 221:1, eff. Aug. 12, 2012. 2014, 190:6, eff. Sept. 9, 2014. 2020, 38:25, eff. Sept. 27, 2020.

Section 198:4-c

    198:4-c Building Trades Fund. – Any school district may appropriate money to establish a revolving fund to aid instruction in the building construction trades. The fund shall be used to pay necessary costs of construction projects which are carried out as part of the instructional program, including the purchase of real estate. No project shall be undertaken unless the fund contains enough money to cover the proposed budget. When the building is completed it shall be sold and the money received put into the fund for use in another construction project.

Source. 1981, 164:1, eff. June 2, 1981.

Section 198:4-d

    198:4-d Reports Required; Cities and School Districts. –
The governing body of each city, school district, and chartered public school shall submit to the commissioner of the department of education the following reports pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A by the commissioner of revenue administration which establish the form and content of such reports:
I. A report filed by the governing body of each city, school district, and chartered public school shall certify the appropriations voted by the meeting of the appropriate legislative body, whether city council, mayor and council, or mayor and board of aldermen, or by each annual or special school district meeting, along with estimated revenues. This report shall be filed within 20 days of the close of the meeting.
II. A report filed by the governing body of each city, school district, and chartered public school shall revise all the estimated revenues for the year. This report shall be filed by September 1 of each year. The revised estimates by school districts for the adequate education grants calculated under RSA 198:41 shall be considered the most accurate within 5 percent of the amount estimated pursuant to RSA 198:40-a.
III. A financial report for each city, school district, and chartered public school shall be filed showing the summary of receipts and expenditures, according to uniform classifications, during the preceding fiscal year, and a balance sheet showing assets and liabilities at the close of the year. This report shall be submitted on or before September 1 of each year. Each statistical report submitted under this section shall include a certification signed by the chairperson of the school district's governing body or the chairperson of the board of trustees of approved public academies that states: "I certify, under the pains and penalties of perjury, to the best of my knowledge and belief, that all of the information contained in this document is true, accurate and complete."
III-a. The department of education and the department of revenue administration together shall develop and recommend school accounting standards. The departments shall report to the speaker of the house, the senate president, and the governor concerning such accounting standards on or before December 1, 1999.
IV. The budget committee in school districts operating under the municipal budget law shall file the budget within 20 days of the close of the annual or special meeting.
V. If a city or school district or chartered public school is audited by an independent public accountant, it shall submit a copy of the audited financial statements in accordance with RSA 21-J:19, III.
VI. If a city or school district is audited under RSA 671:5, the procedures in RSA 41:31-a through 41:31-d shall be followed.

Source. 1989, 357:4. 1998, 389:3, 4, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. 2010, 262:3, eff. Sept. 4, 2010. 2012, 198:7, eff. July 1, 2012. 2016, 8:12, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. 2021, 44:5, eff. May 17, 2021.

Section 198:4-e

    198:4-e Annual Report Required; Towns. – The governing body of each town shall submit to the commissioner of the department of education, within 20 days of the close of the annual town meeting, a copy of the annual town report.

Source. 1989, 357:4, eff. Aug. 1, 1989.

Section 198:4-f

    198:4-f Penalty for Failure to File Report. –
I. A school district, city, chartered public school, or public academy shall file the reports due under RSA 198:4-d, III no later than September 1 of each year.
II. For just cause, the commissioner of the department of education may grant a school district, city, chartered public school, or public academy up to a 30-day extension to such reporting deadline. The commissioner may further extend the deadline when unusual or unforeseen circumstances prevent a school district, city, chartered public school, or public academy from submitting the required reports under paragraph I before the expiration of such extension.
III. The commissioner shall notify the governing body of the school district, city, chartered public school, or public academy that all state aid to education shall be withheld until complete and accurate information is submitted. In the case of a chartered public school which fails to comply with the reporting requirements by the established deadlines for 2 consecutive years, the commissioner may request the state board of education to revoke the enabling charter.

Source. 1989, 357:4. 2003, 314:4, eff. July 22, 2003. 2021, 44:1, eff. May 17, 2021.

Section 198:5

    198:5 Assessment. – The selectmen of the town, in their next annual assessment, shall assess upon the taxable property of the district a sum sufficient to meet the obligations above enumerated, with such alterations thereof as may be voted by the district, and shall pay the same over to the district treasurer as the school board shall require for the maintenance of schools.

Source. RS 72:2. CS 76:2. GS 77:2. GL 85:2. PS 88:2. 1909, 52:1. 1915, 68:1. 1919, 106:21. 1921, 85, VI:4. PL 121:5. 1927, 20:1. RL 140:5.

Section 198:6

    198:6 Assessment on Ward's Property. – When a guardian and ward reside in the same town the selectmen shall assign the tax assessed upon the ward's personal property to the school district in which the ward lives and has a home.

Source. 1852, 1308:1. CS 76:5. GS 77:5. GL 85:5. PS 88:5. 1921, 85, VI:8. PL 121:6. RL 140:6. 1996, 195:4, eff. Aug. 2, 1996.

Section 198:7

    198:7 Neglect to Assess, Etc. – If the selectmen neglect to assess, assign or pay over the school money as aforesaid they shall pay for each neglect a sum equal to that so neglected to be assessed, assigned or paid over, to be recovered by action of debt, in the name and for the use of the district by the school board.

Source. RS 72:5. CS 76:6. GS 77:6. GL 85:6. PS 88:6. 1921, 85, VI:8. PL 121:7. RL 140:7.

State Aid

Section 198:8

    198:8 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, I, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:9

    198:9 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, II, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:10

    198:10 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, III, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:10-a

    198:10-a Repealed by 1985, 244:15, IV, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:10-b

    198:10-b Repealed by 1985, 244:15, V, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:11

    198:11 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, VI, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:12

    198:12 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, VII, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:13

    198:13 Repealed by 1955, 331:1, eff. July 1, 1955. –

Section 198:14

    198:14 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, VIII, eff. July 1, 1985. –

Section 198:14-a

    198:14-a Repealed by 1967, 362:3, eff. July 3, 1967. –

Section 198:15

    198:15 Repealed by 1985, 244:15, IX, eff. July 1, 1985. –

School Building Aid

Section 198:15-a

    198:15-a Grant for School Construction. –
I. To aid local school districts in meeting the costs of school buildings, the department of education shall, from funds appropriated by the general court to carry out the provisions of this subdivision, pay to the school districts of the state, sums in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision or the alternative school building aid provisions under RSA 198:15-u through RSA 198:15-w.
II. Beginning with construction authorized by a local school district on or after July 1, 2013, office facilities for school administrative units and the purchase or lease-purchase of temporary space for any purpose, including but not limited to modulars, trailers, or other similar structures to be used as classroom, office, or storage space shall not be eligible for school building aid grants.
III. Facilities constructed using school building aid grants shall be used as instructional facilities for kindergarten through grade 12 for at least 20 years. A school district that discontinues the use of the facilities within 20 years shall be required to repay the state 100 percent of the state grant received. Upon a showing of good cause by the school district, the commissioner of the department of education may waive this penalty in whole or part on a case by case basis.
IV. Beginning July 1, 2013, and every fiscal year thereafter, school building aid grants for construction or renovation projects approved by the department of education shall not exceed $50,000,000 per fiscal year less any debt service payments owed in the fiscal year, unless otherwise provided by an act of the general court. School building aid grants shall be funded from appropriations in the state operating budget and no state bonds shall be authorized or issued for the purpose of funding such school building aid grants.
V. The department of education shall develop and maintain a 10-year school facilities plan of potential school building grant projects. Potential projects shall include, but not be limited to, criteria pursuant to RSA 198:15-c, II(b). The 10-year plan is intended to create a method to identify and enhance school facilities in a safe, healthy, and efficient manner while providing adequate learning environments for New Hampshire's students. The 10-year plan shall be updated every biennium to provide the department a summary of projects and school facility capital expenditures that are anticipated for the next 10 years. The state board of education shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to this paragraph. The plan shall identify new construction, renovation, and emergency projects, and describe the overall condition of projects contained in the plan.

Source. 1955, 335:9, par. 14-a. 1967, 449:2. 2003, 296:1; 306:1. 2005, 180:1, eff. Aug. 29, 2005. 2009, 144:12, eff. July 1, 2009. 2012, 275:1, eff. Aug. 18, 2012. 2021, 91:314, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 198:15-b

    198:15-b Amount of Grant. –
I. (a)(1) For construction authorized by a school district on or before July 1, 2013, the amount of the annual grant to any school district duly organized, any city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, any cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, any receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or any receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, shall be a sum equal to 30 percent of the amount of the annual payment of principal on all outstanding borrowings of the school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, or receiving district, heretofore or hereafter incurred, for the cost of construction or purchase of school buildings and school administrative unit facilities, or for the cost of acquiring, developing, or renovating any municipally-owned land, buildings, or facilities to be used for school district purposes, to the extent approved by the department of education, provided that any school district may receive an annual grant in the amount of 40 percent for the construction of an educational administration building for a school administrative unit, and provided that the amount of the annual grant in the case of a cooperative school district, a joint maintenance agreement, a receiving district operating an area school, or any receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, shall be 40 percent plus 5 percent for each pre-existing district in excess of 2 and each sending district in excess of one, and provided further that no cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, or receiving district operating an area school, shall receive an annual grant in excess of 55 percent.
(2)(A) For construction authorized by a school district after July 1, 2013, school building aid grants for new construction shall not exceed the state appropriation for school building aid for the fiscal year, less any debt service payments due and owing in the fiscal year for construction or renovation projects approved in a prior fiscal year, less the amount owed for construction or renovation projects approved prior to July 1, 2013 in accordance with subparagraph (a)(1), unless otherwise provided by an act of the general court. School building aid grants approved pursuant to RSA 198:15-u through RSA 198:15-w, shall be disbursed to school districts pursuant to this subparagraph and no state bonds shall be authorized or issued for the purpose of funding school building aid grants. The amount of the grant to any school district duly organized, any city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, any cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, any receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or any receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, shall be calculated based on the criteria set forth in RSA 198:15-v.
(B) The state board of education shall approve the disbursement of 80 percent of the eligible grant amount upon approval of the application for school building aid grants by the state board of education, and shall disburse the balance of the grant amount upon completion of the construction and verification of the final cost of construction by the department of education.
(C) The amount of the grant to any chartered public school established in accordance with RSA 194-B:3-a shall be 30 percent of the eligible cost of construction.
(D) Any state aid for leased space pursuant to RSA 198:15-hh shall require a separate appropriation, and shall not be included in the state appropriation for school building aid.
(E) Funds received from charitable trusts, bequests, gifts, insurance policies, federal grants, or grants from other state programs shall be subtracted from total project costs when computing grants under this paragraph.
(b) For any municipally-owned land, buildings, or facilities for which a school building aid grant is granted under this subdivision, the following shall apply:
(1) A school district, a city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, a receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or a receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, shall have first priority in the use of such land, buildings, or facilities for 10 years or the life of any bond or note issued to provide funds for such land, buildings, or facilities, whichever is greater.
(2) A school district, a city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, a receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or a receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, shall submit, when applying for aid under this chapter, the least costly building plan based on a 20-year life cycle cost analysis that meets minimum state building standards in this chapter along with any alternative plans that may be proposed.
(3) In the absence of a bond or note or upon the expiration of any bond or note issued to provide funds for land, buildings, or facilities, the principal parties shall enter into an agreement on how such land, buildings, or facilities are to be used.
I-a. (a) In addition to the requirements of paragraph I, each school district, prior to receipt of any grant moneys, shall submit for review and approval a written maintenance plan describing in detail how the school district intends to maintain the new facilities to be constructed with state aid grant moneys. The required maintenance plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(b) A description of the procedures to be used, and the method of staffing in which, the following building services are or will be provided. For work performed by in-house staff, an indication of the staffing level shall be provided, expressed as full-time equivalent positions:
(1) Daily facility cleaning.
(2) Grounds maintenance.
(3) Refuse removal.
(4) Snow removal.
(5) Minor maintenance and repair.
(6) Pest management.
(7) Periodic equipment servicing and preventive maintenance.
(8) Plan for 12 month operations, if applicable.
(c) The average amount of space, in square feet, assigned to each custodian for daily cleaning.
(d) The process for reporting, recording, verifying, and prioritizing building problems and fire safety issues.
(e) The process for assigning corrective work.
(f) The process for determining that corrective work has solved the problem.
(g) The process for tracking and analyzing recurring problems.
(h) The process for scheduling and completing preventive maintenance services and inspections on installed equipment and major building systems including, but not limited to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, life safety, elevators, plumbing, roofs, windows, doors, and kitchen appliances.
(i) Custodial or maintenance staff increases or reductions that result from the project.
(j) The training program for employees on new equipment to be installed by the project.
(k) A statement of assurance, signed by the chair of the school board, which indicates that the district intends to maintain and service all installed equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions.
(l) A 20-year maintenance plan that identifies and defines the program and activities necessary to achieve the design life expectancy of the building. Such program shall include activities having to do with scheduled repairs, upkeep, minor alterations, and enhancements of the building. The maintenance plan shall also consider preventive maintenance supporting building systems and components.
II. For the purposes of this subdivision, "construction" shall include any one or more of the following for the construction of instructional facilities only:
(a) The acquisition and development of a site.
(b) Planning, construction, or both, of a new building.
(c) Planning, construction, or both, of additions to existing buildings.
(d) Architectural and engineering fees.
(e) Purchase of equipment and any other costs necessary for the completion of a building as approved by the department of education.
(f) Substantial renovations approved by the commissioner of education.
(g) Purchase or lease-purchase of mechanical, structural, or electrical equipment, including the cost of installation of such equipment, which is designed to improve energy efficiency or indoor air quality in school buildings. All grant amounts awarded under this subparagraph shall be returned to the state if such equipment is removed from the school building by the vendor due to the school district's failure to comply with the terms of the lease-purchase agreement. Lease-purchase agreements shall be subject to the requirements of RSA 33:7-e.
III. Purchase of school buildings shall include the acquisition and improvement of land in connection therewith and the remodeling, altering, repairing, equipping and furnishing of such buildings as approved by the department of education.
IV. In this paragraph, "new construction" means additional square footage but shall not mean the renovation of school buildings. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any school building aid grants made pursuant to RSA 198:15-a through RSA 198:15-w.
(a) The department of education shall issue annually maximum eligible cost standards for the construction of new school buildings, less site acquisition costs, qualifying for a school building aid grant. These standards shall take into account the type, size, and location of the school and shall be based on an appropriate construction cost index developed or adopted by the department which shall reflect cost differences in the several regions of the state. Maximum cost standards shall be computed and published annually and expressed as a maximum cost per square foot.
(b) Maximum size standards for new construction shall be as follows:
(1) Maximum gross square footage per pupil:
Student Population
 under 250 250 and over
 
 Elementary school 144 120
 
 Middle or junior high school 168 140
 
 Senior high school (excluding vocational-technical centers) 192 160
 

(2) Maximum usable site size for new schools:
 Elementary School 20 acres plus 1 acre for each 100 pupils
 Middle or junior high school 25 acres plus 1 acre for each 100 pupils
 Senior high school 30 acres plus 1 acre for each 100 pupils
 

(3) In addition to the provisions of subparagraphs (1) and (2), the department of education shall require architectural designs for new space in order to make efficient use of space. Space determined by the department to be excessive or unnecessary to fulfill educational needs shall not be eligible for state building aid grants.
(c) For the purpose of calculating the total school building aid grants made under RSA 198:15-a through RSA 198:15-w, the final approved cost for school construction or school project shall not exceed the cost that would result if the project conformed to the maximum cost and size standards. The provisions of this section shall not preclude an eligible applicant from exceeding the maximum standards provided, however, the cost of the portion of the facilities which exceed the maximum standards shall not be eligible for school building aid grants. The maximum cost and size standards in effect at the time general contract work begins shall be used for the purposes of determining school building aid grants.
(d) The commissioner of the department of education shall have the authority to waive eligible cost and size standards for new construction for good reason shown.
V. For the purpose of receiving grants under this section, acquisition of additional land as part of any school renovation project shall not be required unless such additional land is necessary to ensure the safe flow of traffic for school buses or other vehicles entering or exiting school grounds, or the safe boarding or discharge of children using school buses or other vehicles.

Source. 1955, 335:9, par. 14-b. 1957, 301:1. 1963, 277:3. 1965, 150:2. 1967, 362:4; 399:1; 449:3. 1969, 347:4. 1971, 452:1. 1975, 447:1. 1979, 208:1; 459:4. 1981, 568:84. 1983, 469:63, 148, 149. 1998, 214:1. 2000, 215:2, 3. 2003, 296:3, 4; 306:1. 2004, 124:1. 2005, 180:2; 208:1, 2; 228:1. 2006, 131:1, eff. May 19, 2006. 2010, 327:2, eff. Sept. 18, 2010. 2012, 275:2, eff. Aug. 18, 2012. 2013, 226:2, eff. Sept. 13, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.; 239:1, eff. Sept. 13, 2013.

Section 198:15-c

    198:15-c Approval of Plans, Specifications, and Costs of Construction or Purchase. –
I. (a) A school district maintaining approved schools, desiring to avail itself of the grants herein provided shall have the plans, specifications, and cost estimates for school plant construction or proposals for the purchase of school buildings, or both, and the costs for them approved by the department of education prior to the start of construction. For this purpose the district shall submit its plans, specifications, cost, and purchase estimates in writing to the department of education on such forms as the department prescribes. A letter of intent shall be submitted to the department no later than 18 months prior to the beginning of the biennium in which school building aid grants are to be disbursed. The commissioner may waive the letter of intent or submittal deadline for good cause. The letter of intent shall include a facilities analysis describing any deficiencies in the facilities of the existing school building, including but not be limited to:
(1) Building components that are inadequate to provide programs required by state or federal law, rule, or regulation.
(2) Deterioration of existing buildings.
(3) Conditions that are unsafe or that threaten the security or health of students or employees.
(4) Operational systems that have excessive operational costs and are energy inefficient due to age or design characteristics.
(5) Alternatives with costs that have been considered.
(6) Any other items required by the department.
(b) The letter of intent shall be submitted on a form provided by the department. To be considered for a school construction grant in either the first or second year of the biennium, the complete building aid application shall be submitted no later than July 1 of the year prior to the biennium in which school building aid grants are to be disbursed. The building aid application shall include detailed drawings, cost estimates, funding sources, preliminary design documents, maintenance impact analysis, proof of good maintenance, and other documentation as required by the department and identified in the department's school building construction rules. A school district shall also submit a copy of any application for energy efficiency reimbursement under RSA 374-F. The department of education shall coordinate with the public utilities commission to ensure that eligible school districts have submitted applications for funding reimbursement and technical assistance as available from energy utility companies to promote indoor air quality and energy efficiency in public schools.
(c) As deemed appropriate, emergency projects that are recommended by the commissioner of education and the school building authority shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the state board of education at any time during the school year. A school construction project requiring the replacement of all or a significant portion of a school facility which is declared uninhabitable or is identified as an imminent danger or substantial risk by the state fire marshal or a state or federal agency, and which results from an unanticipated and sudden natural or human disaster, shall qualify as an emergency project.
(d) Project proposals shall be funded to the extent of available appropriations in the fiscal year. School districts with projects for which there is insufficient state grant funding during the biennial budget may resubmit those projects to the department for future consideration in the next biennial budget cycle.
II. (a) The commissioner shall accept school building aid grant applications based upon completeness and submit a preliminary school building aid grant list, with applications ranked in accordance with subparagraph II(b) and rules of the department, to the school building authority established pursuant to RSA 195-C. By December 1 of the fiscal year prior to the biennium in which school building aid grants are to be disbursed, the school building authority shall verify the ranking submitted by the commissioner and submit a list in descending rank order to the state board of education for approval. If the ranking submitted to the school building authority differs from the preliminary school building aid grant list, the school building authority shall justify the new ranking using the same criteria in subparagraph II(b) and in rules of the department. The state board of education shall approve and publish the descending rank order list of approved projects by January 15 of the fiscal year prior to the biennium in which school building aid grants are distributed. School districts which have projects approved for funding shall be notified by the department of education of the projected amount to be funded within 10 days of approval. The project rating system and criteria used to rate project applications which shall include an administrative review process for appeal of a school district's project point rating, shall be developed by the department of education and approved by the state board of education. The department of education, after review by the house finance committee, the house special committee on education funding reform, and any senate committee designated by the senate president, shall propose interim rules pursuant to RSA 541-A no later than November 1, 2012, and final rules pursuant to RSA 541-A no later than April 30, 2013, relative to the criteria set forth in this paragraph and the procedures necessary to implement this paragraph.
(b) The commissioner of the department of education shall accept school building construction proposals based upon completeness. The department of education shall consider and score each proposal based on the following criteria:
(1) Unsafe conditions.
(2) Facilities not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, or obsolete, inefficient, or unsuitable facilities or mechanical and building systems.
(3) Overcrowding and associated influences to instructional areas and programming.
(4) Enrollment projections and population shifts.
(5) Whether a school district has made a reasonable attempt to accommodate maintenance activities including scheduled and unscheduled repairs, upkeep, minor alterations, enhancements to buildings, and preventive maintenance necessary to achieve the design life expectancy of building systems and components. School districts shall be required to provide maintenance records and other documentation, if necessary, concerning maintenance program activities for scheduled and unscheduled repairs, upkeep, minor alterations, and enhancements of district buildings.
(6) A school district's fiscal capacity based on measurable criteria such as the percentage of pupils eligible for free and reduced price meals.
(7) School security design and integration of security systems.
(8) A school district which initiated and completed a locally or state grant funded school renovation project to remedy an imminent danger, substantial risk, or security infrastructure condition identified by the state fire marshal or the department of safety, division of homeland security and emergency management, on or before June 30, 2019 shall be eligible to include any such corrected condition in a subsequent application for school building aid submitted by the school district. This subparagraph shall enable a school district having remedied an imminent danger, substantial risk, or security condition prior to June 30, 2019 to receive application point credit, but such district shall not be eligible to receive additional school construction grant funding for the remedied condition.
(9) The project contributes to operational cost efficiencies, consolidation, or reduced property taxes.
(10) High performance of design that provides environments that are energy and resource efficient. Energy and resource efficient designs are those that improve indoor air quality, air temperature, or water quality; reduce heating costs; provide better lighting; and increase average attendance.
(11) Any other criteria that the state board of education may determine are necessary.
(c) A school district, a city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, a cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, a receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or a receiving district providing an education to pupils from one or more sending districts under a contract entered into pursuant to RSA 194:21-a or RSA 194:22, with projects for which there is insufficient state grant funding may resubmit those projects to the department pursuant to the provisions of this section.
III. Necessary costs of the purchase of school buildings may be determined by any recognized method of real estate appraisal with appropriate adjustments for remodeling or other expenditures. Upon approval of the construction or purchase, or both, by the department of education, the school district shall be entitled to receive a grant as provided herein.
IV. A school district that accepts school building aid for construction shall engage the services of a project manager for construction or reconstruction projects of $1,000,000 or more, unless the commissioner waives such requirement as unnecessary. The school district's project manager shall have his or her own comprehensive liability and auto insurance, worker's compensation coverage, and professional liability coverage. The state board of education shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to the required services, responsibilities, and qualifications for the school district's project manager.

Source. 1955, 335:9, par. 14-c. 1967, 362:5; 399:2. 1989, 357:3. 2003, 306:1. 2005, 228:2, eff. Sept. 9, 2005. 2010, 327:3, eff. Sept. 18, 2010. 2012, 275:3, eff. Aug. 18, 2012. 2013, 239:2, eff. Sept. 13, 2013. 2016, 72:1, eff. July 18, 2016. 2019, 290:1, eff. Sept. 27, 2019.

Section 198:15-d

    198:15-d Time of Computation of Grant. – As of January 1 in each year, the department of education shall cause to be computed the amount of the annual grants for school building aid to be paid to eligible school districts in the succeeding fiscal year. The computation shall be based upon the total of eligible costs of construction of school buildings approved by the legislative body of the school district and the department of education for which loans are outstanding in each school district for the fiscal year in which the computations are made.

Source. 1955, 335:9, par. 14-d. 1957, 301:2. 1991, 169:4. 2003, 306:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003. 2008, 289:3, eff. Aug. 26, 2008.

Section 198:15-e

    198:15-e Proration and Unexpended Funds. – In any fiscal year, the amount appropriated for distribution as school building grants in accordance with the version of RSA 198:15-b in effect prior to July 1, 2012 shall first be awarded to a school district for an eligible project funded before July 1, 2012. If the amount appropriated is insufficient the appropriation shall be prorated proportionally among the districts entitled to a grant. If the amount appropriated exceeds the amount necessary to fully fund grants to a school district for eligible construction projects funded before July 1, 2012, the remaining amount of the appropriation shall be awarded to a school district for an eligible new proposal in the ranked order developed pursuant to RSA 198:15-c, II(a) and II(b). Such a district shall receive a grant equal to 100 percent of the eligible amount of the request until the amount appropriated has been exhausted. A partial grant may be awarded to the extent that funds are available. If a school district declines a full or partial grant, a grant shall be made to the next ranked school district until the amount appropriated has been exhausted. Any amounts not distributed in the first year of any biennium may be distributed in the second year if required to distribute the maximum amount permissible under RSA 198:15-a.

Source. 1955, 335:9, par. 14-e. 2008, 289:4, eff. Aug. 26, 2008. 2012, 275:4, eff. Aug. 18, 2012.

Section 198:15-f

    198:15-f Repealed by 1963, 277:4, eff. July 1, 1964. –

Section 198:15-g

    198:15-g Federal School Building Aid. – The department of education is hereby designated as the agency of the state of New Hampshire for the receipt and distribution of federal funds in aid of school building construction and is hereby given such authority in connection therewith as it may be required to possess by any federal act relating thereto in order to receive and distribute such funds, and it is hereby authorized to cooperate with the federal government or any agency thereof in the development of plans for the distribution of federal funds in aid of the construction of school buildings and to receive and expend in accordance with such plans all funds made available to it or the state of New Hampshire by the federal government or any of its agencies; provided, however, to the extent permitted by any federal act relating thereto, the department of education, in formulating plans for the distribution of federal funds, may give consideration to the effort made by any local school district in providing school buildings, its financial ability to pay for school buildings, the encouragement of cooperative school districts and the amounts received or to be received by school districts as state aid to school buildings under the provisions of this chapter as now or hereafter amended.

Source. 1957, 301:3. 1986, 41:23, eff. April 3, 1988.

Section 198:15-h

    198:15-h Use of Existing Buildings. – The building aid provided in RSA 198:15-b for a receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or some proportionate part of that building aid, may be made available to assist in defraying the cost of construction of a new school building or an addition to existing buildings of the receiving district which is not to be used as an area school, but which is to be constructed so that the receiving district may make available as an area school building the full or partial capacity of an existing school building. The department of education may extend the building aid in the circumstances set forth in this section when it finds that (a) such arrangement will result in savings in overall building cost to the state, and that (b) the existing building thus made available by the receiving district as an area school is satisfactory for the purpose. In all other respects the provisions of RSA 198:15-b apply to the alternate building aid, as if the new building were an area school for the number of sending districts in the area plan.

Source. 1965, 150:1. 2003, 306:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003.

Section 198:15-hh

    198:15-hh Annual Grant for Leased Space. –
I. The amount of the annual grant for a lease to any school district duly organized, any city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, any cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, or any receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, shall be a sum equal to 30 percent of the amount of the annual payment of the lease incurred, for the cost of leasing permanent space in a building or buildings not owned by the school district or school administrative unit which is used for the operation of a high school vocational technical education program, to the extent approved by the state board of education. For the purposes of this section, the amount of the annual grant for a lease to a vocational technical education center shall be calculated in the same manner as a cooperative school district. The amount of the annual grant for a chartered public school authorized under RSA 194-B:3-a shall be a sum equal to 30 percent of the annual lease payment incurred for the cost of leasing space; provided that no annual grant for leased space provided to a chartered public school in accordance with this section shall exceed $50,000 in any fiscal year. The total amount of grants to schools pursuant to this section shall not exceed the state appropriation for leased space. If the amount appropriated is insufficient therefor, the appropriation shall be prorated proportionally among the schools eligible for a grant. Such lease agreements shall be eligible for grants under this section, provided all of the following conditions apply:
(a) A school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or chartered public school authorized under RSA 194-B:3-a, which receives grants under this section shall remain eligible to apply for, receive, and expend moneys from other state or federal sources made available for the purpose of purchasing new equipment, materials, or supplies necessary for the operation of the program. Moneys received from such other state or federal sources shall not be used to make permanent upgrades or renovations to the leased space.
(b) A lease agreement for permanent space shall be adopted in the same manner as required by law for the passage of construction bonds in the school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, or receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1. A lease agreement for a chartered public school shall be approved by the chartered public school board of trustees pursuant to RSA 194-B:5, III(c).
(c) An initial lease agreement for a term of 10 years or less shall be eligible to receive grants under this section. Upon renewal, a lease agreement may remain eligible to receive grants, provided the commissioner of the department of education determines that the lease agreement represents an efficient use of state and local resources.
(d) In any fiscal year where the state pays a pro rata share of school building aid grants, the state shall pay the same pro rata share for lease agreements approved under this section.
II. Lease agreements for the use of portable or modular classroom space shall not be eligible for grants.
III. A school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, or chartered public school authorized under RSA 194-B:3-a shall submit details of the lease arrangement, including a copy of the proposed lease agreement, in writing to the state board of education on such forms as the state board may prescribe. Grant applications for leased space shall be submitted before January 1 of each year in order to be eligible for grants in the fiscal year following the year of submittal. The state board of education shall, no later than March 1, 2004, adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to procedures for grant applications for leased space.

Source. 2003, 296:5, eff. July 1, 2003. 2011, 193:1, 2, eff. Aug. 13, 2011. 2012, 275:9, eff. Aug. 18, 2012. 2019, 346:56, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:313, eff. July 1, 2021.

Kindergarten Incentive Program

Section 198:15-i to 198:15-k

    198:15-i to 198:15-k Repealed by 1999, 17:58, VIII, eff. April 29, 1999. –

Kindergarten Aid; Alternative Kindergarten Programs

Section 198:15-l to 198:15-q

    198:15-l to 198:15-q Repealed by 1999, 17:58, VIII, eff. April 29, 1999. –

Kindergarten Construction Program

Section 198:15-r

    198:15-r Kindergarten Construction Program Established. –
I. There is established in the department of education a kindergarten construction program to provide certain construction grants which shall be available to eligible school districts that currently do not operate a public kindergarten program. These grants shall be available until all school districts in the state operate a kindergarten program within an approved public school. Such eligible districts shall receive, at their election, either:
(a) A construction grant to cover 75 percent of the actual cost of construction of kindergarten facilities, exclusive of site acquisition and core facilities; or
(b) A construction grant to cover 100 percent of the actual cost of the design and construction of a basic code compliant kindergarten facility, but shall not include site acquisition and core facilities. In this subparagraph, "basic code compliant kindergarten facility" means a new building or an addition to an existing building that the commissioner of the department of education determines satisfies the minimum standards for school approval for a kindergarten program and all applicable building code standards. The commissioner shall establish specifications pursuant RSA 198:15-s, IV for such a basic code compliant facility.
II. A school district that displaces pupils from an existing classroom space in order to use such space to provide a kindergarten program shall be eligible for a construction grant under subparagraphs I(a) or (b) to cover the costs incurred in constructing or renovating new classroom space for the displaced pupils.
III. Grants under subparagraphs I(a) or (b) shall also cover the cost of initial furniture, fixtures, and equipment needed to operate a kindergarten program.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. A school district may contract with another school district to provide a public kindergarten program that meets or exceeds the minimum standards for school approval as adopted by the department of education.
VI. The provisions of RSA 32:8 and RSA 32:11 shall not apply to costs incurred by a school district under this section.
VII. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit the inclusion of the site and related facilities that are not eligible for funding by the state under this subdivision as part of kindergarten construction costs from being included in a regular building aid funding request as provided in RSA 198:15-b. However, no school district which receives any funding under this subdivision shall be eligible to receive school building aid under RSA 198:15-b for the same project.
VIII. Kindergarten facilities constructed under this subdivision shall be the property of the school district or the city maintaining a school department.
IX. A district shall not be deemed ineligible from receiving the full amount of a construction or transition grant for which it is otherwise eligible as a result of the district already expending funds for construction or transition costs related to providing a kindergarten program beginning in the 2008-2009 or 2009-2010 school years.

Source. 1997, 348:5. 2001, 287:1, 2. 2003, 319:136. 2005, 164:3. 2006, 198:1, eff. July 1, 2006. 2008, 384:1, eff. July 11, 2008; 384:6, II, eff. July 1, 2013.

Section 198:15-s

    198:15-s Eligibility; Administration. –
I. [Repealed.]
II. [Repealed.]
III. A kindergarten construction grant request shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
(a) A set of educational specifications, prepared by district staff.
(b) Construction plans and cost estimates, prepared by a licensed architect. Construction plans and cost estimates shall comply with the following:
(1) To be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to RSA 198:15-r, kindergarten construction shall be approved by the school district's legislative body on or before June 30, 2013.
(2) The number of classrooms shall be based upon the largest projected kindergarten enrollment in the first 5 years following construction, based on a minimum of 20 students per half-day kindergarten class.
(3) Classrooms shall be no larger than 1,000 square feet in size including restrooms and storage space.
(4) Costs shall be limited to the annual maximum eligible cost standards in accordance with RSA 198:15-b, unless waived by the commissioner of the department of education for good cause.
(5) Classroom furniture and equipment purchased for temporary classrooms pursuant to RSA 198:15-r, IV shall be relocated to permanent classrooms or replaced at district expense.
(c) An assurance signed by the superintendent and the chair of the school board that facilities constructed under this subdivision will be used for a public kindergarten program.
IV. The department of education shall administer the kindergarten construction program and shall be responsible for the following:
(a) Providing technical assistance relative to kindergarten construction to school districts.
(b) Developing and maintaining a kindergarten construction guide, including a list of recommended furnishings and equipment for kindergarten classrooms.
(c) Establishing forms and procedures for school districts to use for the development and submission to the department of education of kindergarten construction grant requests.
(d) Reviewing grant requests, including educational specifications, kindergarten construction plans, and cost estimates, and forwarding them to the commissioner of education with recommendations relative to their adequacy, educational appropriateness, and cost effectiveness.
(e) Distributing kindergarten construction grant payments to eligible districts in accordance with the payment schedule specified by the commissioner of education in the district's grant approval notification.
(f) Assuring that the facilities are used as specified in the grant request.

Source. 1997, 348:5. 2001, 287:6, I, eff. July 1, 2001. 2008, 384:6, III, eff. July 11, 2008. 2011, 224:331, eff. July 1, 2011. 2012, 275:5, eff. Aug. 18, 2012.

Section 198:15-t

    198:15-t Penalty. – If, within 20 years of the completion of kindergarten facilities constructed under this subdivision, a school district or city maintaining a school department discontinues the kindergarten program or uses these classrooms for other than kindergarten, it shall be required to pay back to the state 100 percent of the kindergarten construction grant payments received under RSA 198:15-s, IV(e). Upon a showing of good cause by the school district, the commissioner of education may waive this penalty in whole or part on a case by case basis.

Source. 1997, 348:5, eff. July 1, 1997.

Alternative School Building Aid

Section 198:15-u

    198:15-u Definitions. –
As used in this subdivision:
I. "Median family income" means that income for each municipality using the most recent data available from the United States Bureau of the Census.
II. "Equalized valuation per pupil" means the average equalized valuation within the school district over the most recent 5 years divided by the current number of pupils within the school district expressed as an average from the most recent 5 years of available data collected by the department of education.

Source. 2003, 296:2, eff. July 1, 2005.

Section 198:15-v

    198:15-v Alternative School Building Aid Grants. –
I. The amount of the annual grant to any school district duly organized, any city maintaining a school department within its corporate organization, any cooperative school district as defined in RSA 195:1, or any receiving district operating an area school as defined in RSA 195-A:1, shall be determined as follows:
(a) Determine each municipality's equalized valuation per pupil by dividing the municipality's equalized valuation by the average daily membership in residence within each municipality. Assign each municipality a rank beginning with the municipality having the lowest equalized valuation per pupil ranked as number one, and continuing therefrom.
(b) Determine each municipality's median family income, and assign each municipality a rank beginning with the municipality having the lowest median family income ranked as number one and continuing therefrom.
(c) Add the rankings assigned in subparagraphs I(a) and I(b) and divide the sum by 2 to yield the building aid factor.
II. (a) The amount of the annual grant in this subdivision shall be a sum equal to a percentage of the amount of the annual payment of principal on all outstanding borrowings of the school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, or receiving district, for all approved costs of construction or purchase of school buildings and school administrative unit facilities, for grants approved on or before July 1, 2013 according to the following table:
 Building Aid Factor Single District Preexisting District in a Cooperative School District, Area School, or Joint Maintenance Agreement
 
 0-59 60 percent 60 percent
 
 60-69 55 percent 60 percent
 
 70-89 45 percent 55 percent
 
 90-114 40 percent 50 percent
 
 115 or greater 30 percent 40 percent
 

(b) For projects approved after July 1, 2013, the amount of the grant to any school district, city, cooperative school district, joint maintenance agreement, or receiving district shall be a sum equal to the percentage of all approved costs for construction or purchase of school buildings according to the following table:
 Building Aid Factor Building Aid Grant
 
 0-59 60 percent
 
 60-69 55 percent
 
 70-89 45 percent
 
 90-114 40 percent
 
 115 or greater 30 percent
 

III. A cooperative school district, receiving district operating an area school, or joint maintenance agreement grant amount shall be determined by calculating the percentage of the average daily membership in residence represented by each municipality which has entered into the agreement and multiplying this percentage by each municipality's percentage of annual building aid eligibility under paragraph II of this section. This product shall be multiplied by the projected cost of the building project. The sum of the resulting products shall be the annual building aid grant for the cooperative school district, area school, or joint maintenance agreement.

Source. 2003, 296:2, eff. July 1, 2005. 2012, 275:6, eff. Aug. 18, 2012.

Section 198:15-w

    198:15-w Alternative School Building Aid Grants; Procedures. – The provisions of RSA 198:15-c through 198:15-h shall apply to any grant made under this subdivision.

Source. 2003, 296:2, eff. July 1, 2005.

Section 198:15-x

    198:15-x Repealed by 2012, 47:2, eff. Dec. 2, 2012. –

Public School Infrastructure Fund and Public School Infrastructure Commission

Section 198:15-y

    198:15-y Public School Infrastructure Fund. –
I. The general court recognizes that there is a need to provide funding for infrastructure projects for public elementary and secondary schools. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to designate certain surplus funds in the 2016-2017 biennial budget to provide grants to fund select school infrastructure projects in accordance with this chapter.
II. There is hereby established in the office of the state treasurer the public school infrastructure fund which shall be kept distinct and separate from all other funds and which shall be administered by the department of education. After transferring sufficient funds to the revenue stabilization reserve account to bring the balance of that account to $100,000,000, the state treasurer shall transfer the remainder of the general fund surplus for fiscal year 2017, as determined by the official audit performed pursuant to RSA 21-I:8, II(a), to the fund. Any earnings on fund moneys shall be added to the fund. All moneys in the fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated. The department of education may retain up to 3 percent of the total annual appropriation of the public school infrastructure fund on or after July 1, 2019, to be used to administer the public school infrastructure program.
III. The governor, in consultation with the public school infrastructure commission, may authorize fund expenditures with approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and the executive council. Funds may be expended for the following purposes:
(a) A school building or infrastructure proposal in which the condition of such school building or portion thereof constitutes a clear and imminent danger to the life or safety of occupants or other persons and requires remediation as soon as practicable.
(b) A school building or infrastructure proposal in which a structural deficiency in the function or operation of a school building or portion thereof presents a substantial risk to the life or safety of the occupants or other persons and is more than a technical violation of the fire code, and requires remediation as soon as practicable.
(c) Support of fiber optic connections for schools to enhance and improve reliance on Internet technology tools, provided matching funds are available.
(d) Funding for the department of safety, division of homeland security and emergency management's school emergency readiness program to improve security in public schools, after the completion of a security assessment, and in consultation with municipal officials.
(e) A school building or infrastructure proposal which is necessary to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
(f) Energy efficient school buses or other vehicles used for transportation of students.
(g) Other school building or infrastructure needs the governor, in consultation with the public school infrastructure commission, may identify, except for school building aid projects that are otherwise prohibited by law.
IV. In order for a school to be eligible for a grant from the public school infrastructure fund, the public school infrastructure commission in consultation with the department of education shall determine that the school has a need unmet by federal stimulus funds for the project.

Source. 2017, 156:67, eff. June 30, 2017. 2019, 27:1, eff. May 15, 2019; 346:318, 319, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:62, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 198:15-z

    198:15-z Public School Infrastructure Commission Established. –
I. There is hereby established the public school infrastructure commission, which shall advise the governor on proposals for expenditures from the public school infrastructure fund established in RSA 198:15-y. The commission shall consist of the following members:
(a) Two members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(b) Two members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
(c) The director of the division of homeland security and emergency management, department of safety, or designee.
(d) The commissioner of the department of education, or designee.
(e) The chairperson of the New Hampshire school building authority, or designee.
(f) The chairperson of the state board of education, or designee.
II. Members of the commission shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.
III. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, except that legislative members shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.
IV. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named house member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. The commission shall meet at least monthly. The commission shall provide a report on or before June 30, 2021 to the general court with information on fund expenditures for the year, projects begun or completed during the previous year, the balance in the public school infrastructure fund, and any other information the commission deems appropriate.
V. The commission shall review the work and projects funded by the public school infrastructure fund during the previous year.

Source. 2017, 156:67, eff. June 30, 2017. 2019, 27:2, eff. May 15, 2019.

Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 198:16

    198:16 Unincorporated Towns and Unorganized Places. –
I. By August 1, 1989, the department of education shall certify to county commissioners of each county responsible for unincorporated towns, unorganized places, and towns where by act of the legislature the school districts have been abolished, the amount of money deemed necessary to be raised by taxation to pay the costs of education for school children from such towns and places.
II. The certified amount shall be assessed under RSA 81 on the taxpayers of each unincorporated town, unorganized place, and town where by act of the legislature the school district has been abolished on a pro rata basis based upon the actual number of school children who reside in each town or place.
III. The county commissioners shall, following receipt of the taxes collected under this section, pay them to the county treasurer. From time to time, as deemed advisable by the department of education, it shall submit to the county commissioners bills for payment for the costs of education of the children from such unincorporated towns, unorganized places, and towns where by act of the legislature the school districts have been abolished and the education of the children made the responsibility of the state.
IV. The unexpended proceeds of any balance in the fund created under RSA 198:16 prior to October 1, 1989, shall be transferred to the county treasurers of counties with unincorporated towns, unorganized places, and towns where by act of the legislature the school districts have been abolished on a pro rata basis according to the number of school children who reside in each county. The pro rata distribution shall be based on the number of school children who resided in each unincorporated town and unorganized place, or town where by act of the legislature the school districts have been abolished at the close of the 1988-89 school year. The distribution shall be made prior to December 1, 1989.

Source. 1919, 106:23. 1921, 85, VI:6. PL 121:15. RL 140:15. RSA 198:16. 1955, 224:2. 1963, 147:2. 1973, 544:8. 1989, 262:1, eff. May 26, 1989; 266:33, eff. July 1, 1989.

Section 198:16-a

    198:16-a Repealed by 1989, 266:36, III, eff. July 1, 1989. –

Section 198:17

    198:17 Repealed by 1961, 249:2, eff. March 31, 1962. –

Section 198:18

    198:18 Cooperative School District Aid. –
I. As an incentive to the pre-existing districts which, heretofore or hereafter, undertake the obligations of a cooperative school district, the state board shall, from funds appropriated by the general court to carry out the provisions hereof, pay annually to each cooperative school district sums in accordance with the following schedule: For each pupil from a pre-existing district who attends a cooperative school located in another pre-existing district in average daily membership in the preceding school year, in a cooperative elementary school, $45; in a cooperative junior high school or equivalent program, $60; and in a cooperative high school, $75.
II. As of June 30 in each year the state board shall cause to be computed the amount of annual grants to be paid to cooperative school districts in the succeeding fiscal year based upon average daily memberships in the preceding fiscal year. If in any year the amount appropriated for distribution hereunder is insufficient therefor, the available appropriation shall be apportioned proportionately among the several cooperative school districts. Any available appropriation not fully distributed in the first year of any biennium may be distributed in the second year if required to meet the formula established in paragraph I.

Source. 1963, 277:2, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 198:19

    198:19 Area School Aid. –
I. As an incentive to receiving and sending districts which undertake the obligations of an area school, the state board shall, from funds appropriated by the general court to carry out the provisions of this chapter, pay annually to each receiving district sums in accordance with the following schedule: For each pupil from a sending district in average daily membership in the preceding school year; in an area elementary school, $ 45; in an area junior high school or equivalent program, $ 60; and in an area high school, $ 75.
II. As of June 30 in each year, the state board shall cause to be computed the amount of annual grants to be paid to eligible receiving districts for use as provided in area plans approved hereunder, in the succeeding fiscal year, based upon average daily membership from sending districts in the preceding fiscal year. If, in any year, the amount appropriated for distribution hereunder is insufficient therefor, the available appropriation shall be distributed proportionately among the receiving districts entitled to such grant. Any available appropriations not fully distributed in the first year of any biennium may be distributed in the second year if required to meet the formula established in paragraph I.

Source. 1969, 104:12, eff. June 24, 1969.

Section 198:20

    198:20 Closing of Nonpublic Schools. – Whenever a nonpublic school, or a portion thereof, closes and any of its pupils become enrolled in the public schools, the state board in determining eligibility for any form of state aid computed wholly or in part on the basis of average daily membership of pupils may count these newly enrolled pupils as though they had been in average daily membership at the public schools of the district during the preceding school year.

Source. 1969, 104:14. 1971, 211:1, eff. Aug. 17, 1971.

Section 198:20-a

    198:20-a Payment of Governmental Moneys Prohibited in Nonpublic School Without Program Approval by the Board of Education for Disabled Children. – No state moneys or moneys raised and appropriated by any political subdivision of the state or any federal moneys administered by the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be paid or granted to a nonpublic school for the education and training of disabled children as defined by RSA 186-C:2, I which has not been approved by the state board of education pursuant to those policies adopted under the provisions of RSA 186:11, XXIX.

Source. 1974, 28:2. 1990, 140:2, X, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 198:20-b

    198:20-b Appropriation for Unanticipated Funds Made Available During Year. –
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any school district at an annual meeting may adopt an article authorizing indefinitely, until specific rescission of such authority, the school board to apply for, accept and expend, without further action by the school district, unanticipated money from a state, federal or other governmental unit or a private source which becomes available during the fiscal year. The following shall apply:
(a) Such warrant article to be voted on shall read: "Shall the school district accept the provisions of RSA 198:20-b providing that any school district at an annual meeting may adopt an article authorizing indefinitely, until specific rescission of such authority, the school board to apply for, accept and expend, without further action by the school district, unanticipated money from a state, federal or other governmental unit or a private source which becomes available during the fiscal year?"
(b) If a majority of voters voting on the question vote in the affirmative, the proposed warrant article shall be in effect in accordance with the terms of the article until such time as the school district votes to rescind its vote.
II. Such money shall be used only for legal purposes for which a school district may appropriate money. No funds disbursed from the education trust fund pursuant to RSA 198:42 shall, under any circumstances, emergency or otherwise, be deemed to be unanticipated money under the provisions of this section.
III. (a) For unanticipated funds in the amount of $5,000 or more, the school board shall hold a prior public hearing on the action to be taken. Notice of the time, place, and subject of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the relevant municipality at least 7 days before the meeting is held.
(b) A school board may establish the amount of unanticipated funds required for notice under this subparagraph, provided such amount is less than $5,000. For unanticipated funds in an amount less than $5,000, the school board shall post notice of the funds in the agenda and shall include notice in the minutes of the school board meeting in which such funds are discussed. The acceptance of unanticipated funds under this subparagraph shall be made in public session of any regular school board meeting.
IV. Action to be taken under this section shall:
(a) Not require the expenditure of other school district funds except those funds lawfully appropriated for the same purpose; and
(b) Be exempt from all provisions of RSA 32 relative to limitation and expenditure of school district moneys.

Source. 1981, 167:1. 1991, 329:1. 1993, 176:12, 13. 2000, 201:1. 2005, 188:1, eff. Aug. 29, 2005.

Section 198:20-c

    198:20-c Trust Funds Created for Specific Purposes; Expenditures; Administration. –
I. The school district may at any annual or special meeting appropriate such sums of money as it deems necessary to create expendable trust funds for specific purposes for the maintenance and operation of schools and for any other public purpose that is not foreign to the school district's institution or incompatible with the objects of their organization. The school board may be named agents to expend such trust funds. Expenditure from such trust funds shall be made only for the purpose for which the trust fund was established.
II. School district trust funds created pursuant to this section shall be held in custody by the trustee named pursuant to RSA 31:22 of trust funds of the town wherein the school district lies, or in the case of school districts embracing 2 or more towns, by the trustees of trust funds of that town which the voters of the school district may elect at the annual school district meeting. In order to expend such funds, the school board shall hold a public hearing prior to the expenditure to be made. Notice of the time, place, and subject of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the relevant municipality at least 7 days before the meeting is held.
III. A trust fund created under the provisions of this section that is established for the purpose of maintaining health insurance funds for the benefit of employees and retired employees of any school district, including an OPEB trust established pursuant to paragraph VII, shall be exempt from the provisions of paragraph II, and when so established, the school district may name its own trustees who may expend any funds in the trust for the payment of health claims or health insurance premiums for the benefit of any employees or retired employees of the school district. An annual accounting and report of the activities of the trust shall be presented to the school board of the district and published in the annual report.
IV. Trust funds created pursuant to this section shall be revocable by majority vote of the legal voters present and voting at any annual meeting, unless the vote creating the trust expressly provides that the trust shall be irrevocable, and upon revocation the trustees of trust funds holding the account for said trust shall pay all the moneys in such funds to the school treasurer.
V. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any trust fund created under this section shall be subject to the same provisions concerning custody, investment, expenditure, change of purpose and audit as are reserve funds established under RSA 35:1 or 35:1-c. The legal validity of such a fund properly established shall not be affected by its designation as a "trust," "reserve," "capital reserve," or any other designation. A trust fund established for maintaining health insurance funds as set forth in paragraph III shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 35:8.
VI. The district may authorize the acceptance of privately-donated gifts, legacies and devises to be utilized for the same purpose as a trust fund created under this section; provided, however, that such gifts, legacies or devises shall be invested and accounted for separately from, and not commingled with, amounts appropriated under paragraph I, and shall be subject to the custody and investment provisions applicable to trust funds accepted under RSA 31:31.
VII. (a) A school district that created, on or before January 1, 2012, an actuarial liability to pay other post-employment benefits (OPEB) to employees or officers after their termination of service may establish an irrevocable trust to pay those benefits. In this paragraph, the term "other post-employment benefits" means employee benefits other than pensions that are received after employment ends, and may include such medical, disability, or other health benefits, as are covered by Statement No. 45 of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The term "trust" means a trust qualified under GASB Statement No. 43.
(b) Deposits to any fund under such a trust and any earnings on those deposits shall be irrevocable and shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of retirees and their beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the plans or programs providing other post-employment benefits, except that funds governed by the trust may be withdrawn for other purposes only when an employer's liability owed to former officers or employees for other post-employment benefits has been satisfied or otherwise eliminated pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2). The assets of any trust created pursuant to this paragraph or in which a school district participates pursuant to this paragraph shall be exempt from taxation and execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process. No public officer, employee, or agency shall divert, use, or authorize the use of such funds for any purpose other than as provided in law for other post-employment benefits covered by the trust and administrative expenses.
(c) The trustees of any trust created pursuant to this paragraph shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the trust. The trustees shall invest the assets of the trust with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The trustees shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so. The trustees may engage a trust administrator, investment consultants, or other qualified professionals to assist with management and investment of the funds of the trust and may pay for these services out of the funds of the trust.
(d) The school district may withdraw money from the funds of a trust created pursuant to this paragraph only:
(1) As needed to pay other post-employment benefits owed to former officers and employees; or
(2) When all other post-employment benefits liability owed to former officers or employees of the employing entity has been satisfied or otherwise defeased.

Source. 1991, 329:2. 1993, 176:14, 15. 1995, 20:8, eff. June 11, 1995. 2012, 219:2, 3, eff. July 1, 2012.

Section 198:20-d

    198:20-d Reimbursement Anticipation Notes. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a school district or a city with a dependent school district may incur debt in anticipation of reimbursement under RSA 186-C:18 and under RSA 198:42. The governing body, after notice and public hearing, may elect to borrow such funds and to recognize the proceeds of the borrowing as revenue for property tax rate setting purposes by providing written notification to the commissioner of the department of revenue administration stating the specific amount of borrowing to be recognized as revenue. Any borrowing under this section shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 33, relative to debt limits.

Source. 1992, 238:4. 1994, 337:3. 1998, 243:2. 1999, 17:43, eff. April 29, 1999; 17:44, eff. at 12:01 a.m., July 1, 1999; 303:9, eff. at 12:02 a.m., July 1, 1999.

Dual Enrollment Grants

Section 198:21

    198:21 Grants. –
I. Any school district which has in operation an approved dual enrollment agreement under the provisions of RSA 193:1-a shall be granted for the first school year that such agreement is in operation the full operational costs of implementing such agreement, exclusive of any part of the cost and carrying charges of any capital improvements; and for the next succeeding school year, if such operation is then continued, 1/2 of such costs.
II. Application for any such grant shall be submitted by a district to the state board of education no later than the July 1 preceding the start of the school year for which it shall be applicable, provided that the board may, for good cause shown, accept any such application up to but no later than the start of the applicable school year.
III. The board shall determine what costs shall be allowed in computing the amount of any grant, and shall make payments of such grants from the funds appropriated therefor.
IV. In the event that for any year insufficient sums are available to pay grants in full as provided by this section to all qualified applying school districts the state board of education shall prorate such grants so that all such districts receive the same proportion.
V. No pupil counted by any school district for the purpose of calculating the amount of a grant to be paid pursuant to this section shall for the same school year by the same district be counted for the purposes of grants pursuant to RSA 198:22.

Source. 1970, 51:2. 1999, 17:48, eff. April 29, 1999.

Child Benefit Service Grants

Section 198:22

    198:22 Grants. –
I. Any school district which is providing any child benefit service pursuant to the authority of RSA 189:49 and 50 shall be granted the following proportion of the costs, exclusive of any part of the cost and carrying charges of any capital improvements, of providing such service to any student who regularly attends a nonpublic school within the district for more than 1/2 each school day:
(a) Not more than 70 percent of such cost of any such service.
II. Application for any such grant shall be submitted by a district to the state board of education no later than the July 1 preceding the start of the school year for which it shall be applicable, provided that the board may, for good cause shown, accept any such application up to but no later than the start of the applicable school year. Payment of said grant shall be made upon submission of certified expenses prior to the end of the applicable fiscal year.
III. The board shall determine what costs shall be allowed in computing and the amount of any grant, and shall make payments of such grants from the funds appropriated therefor.
IV. In the event that for any year insufficient sums are available to pay grants in full as provided by this section to all qualified applying school districts the state board of education shall prorate such grants so that all such districts receive the same proportion thereof.
V. No pupil counted by any school for the purpose of calculating the amount of a grant to be paid pursuant to this section shall for the same school year by the same district be counted for the purpose of grants pursuant to RSA 198:21.

Source. 1970, 51:4. 1973, 501:2. 1999, 17:49, eff. April 29, 1999.

Tuition for Foster Children

Section 198:23

    198:23 Tuition Paid to School District. – When a child has been placed in a home by the children and youth services division of the department of health and human services or by a licensed child-placing agency, the school district in which said home is located shall be entitled to the funds provided under the provisions of this subdivision.

Source. 1973, 277:1. 1983, 291:1, I, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 198:24

    198:24 Amount of Payment. –
I. Each school district shall be entitled to receive an amount not to exceed $200 per year for each foster child who attends a school in such district. If more than one school district is involved during any school year, the amount of payment to any one district will be distributed in accordance with RSA 198:26.
II. If the sums appropriated to the foster children tuition fund established by 1975, 505:1.06, 03, 03, 01, 21 is not totally expended for the purpose of paragraph I, then any amount remaining unexpended shall be divided equally between the following 2 categories: foster children placed in a program or school for persons with disabilities and foster children placed in a group home or nonprofit institution which averages 6 or more foster children annually. Each category shall be entitled to receive an equal share of this division; and, within each category, the amount so appropriated shall be distributed on a per capita basis based upon the number of children within the category.

Source. 1973, 277:1. 1977, 340:1. 1990, 140:2, III, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 198:25

    198:25 Proration. – If, in any year, the number of children entitled to receive benefits in accordance with RSA 198:24 shall exceed the amount appropriated for such purpose, the amount shall be prorated proportionally among the districts entitled to the tuition payments. In carrying out the proration, all sums appropriated to the foster children tuition fund established by 1975, 505:1.06, 03, 03, 01, 21 which have not been expended or encumbered on August 30, 1977, shall be divided equally between foster children placed in a program or school for persons with disabilities and foster children placed in a group home or nonprofit institution which averages 6 or more foster children annually. After this division between foster home groups and disabled foster children programs, said sums shall be disbursed on a pro rata basis for each disabled foster child up to 100 percent of actual costs and on a pro rata basis for each foster child in group foster homes. In subsequent years, this same pro rata distribution shall be made of these foster children tuition funds.

Source. 1973, 277:1. 1977, 340:2. 1990, 140:2, III, X, eff. June 18, 1990.

Section 198:26

    198:26 Time of Computation. – As of June 30 in each year, the state board shall cause to be computed the amount of annual grants to be paid eligible districts in the succeeding fiscal year as provided herein. If the foster home is located in a pre-existing district within a cooperative district, any aid paid under this subdivision shall be credited to said pre-existing district. Any available appropriation not fully distributed among the districts in the first year of any biennium may be distributed in the second year if required to meet the formula established.

Source. 1973, 277:1. 1977, 340:3, eff. Aug. 30, 1977.

Foundation Aid

Section 198:27 to 198:33

    198:27 to 198:33 Repealed by 1999, 17:58, IX, eff. April 29, 1999. –

Alternative Foundation Aid

Section 198:34 to 198:37

    198:34 to 198:37 Repealed by 1999, 17:58, IX, eff. April 29, 1999. –

Adequate Education; Education Trust Fund

Section 198:38

    198:38 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. (a) "Average daily membership in attendance" or "ADMA" means the average daily membership in attendance, as defined in RSA 189:1-d, III, of pupils in kindergarten through grade 12, in the determination year. ADMA shall only include pupils who are legal residents of New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 193:12 and educated at school district expense which may include public academies or out-of-district placements. For the purpose of calculating funding for municipalities, the ADMA shall not include pupils attending chartered public schools, but shall include pupils attending a charter conversion school approved by the school district in which the pupil resides.
(b) For the purpose of calculating ADMA, each pupil who is home educated in compliance with RSA 193-A and who is enrolled in a school board approved public high school academic course shall count as an additional 0.15 pupil for each such academic course taken in a public high school. The department of education shall only make grant payments for such pupils to the extent of available appropriations. In this subparagraph, "public high school" shall have the same meaning as "high school" as defined in RSA 194:23.
II. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of education.
III. "Department" means the department of education.
IV. "Determination year" means the school year immediately preceding the school year for which aid is determined. Unless otherwise indicated, determination year data shall be used to calculate aid.
V. "Pupil receiving special education services" means the ADMA of a child with a disability as defined in RSA 186-C:2, I.
VI. "English language learner" means the ADMA of a pupil who has a predominant language other than English or who is educationally disadvantaged by a limited English proficiency, and who participated in the annual assessment of English language proficiency required of such pupils by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 6311 (b)(7).
VI-a. "Municipality" means a city, town, or unincorporated place.
VII. "Pupils eligible for a free or reduced-price meal" means the ADMA of pupils in kindergarten through grade 12 who are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meal program. No pupil or school shall be required to participate in the federal free or reduced price meal program.
VIII. "School district" means school district as defined in RSA 194:1 and shall include cooperative school districts as defined in RSA 195:1, I.

Source. 1999, 17:41; 65:1; 281:12. 2002, 260:1. 2003, 241:3, 6. 2004, 200:3. 2005, 257:5. 2006, 191:3, eff. July 29, 2006. 2008, 173:4, eff. July 1, 2009. 2011, 258:10, eff. July 1, 2011. 2012, 198:1, 2, eff. July 1, 2012. 2015, 251:1, eff. Sept. 11, 2015. 2016, 8:1, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. 2019, 346:232, eff. July 1, 2019 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 198:39

    198:39 Education Trust Fund Created and Invested. –
I. The state treasurer shall establish an education trust fund in the treasury. Moneys in such fund shall not be used for any purpose other than to distribute adequate education grants to municipalities' school districts and to approved charter schools pursuant to RSA 198:42, to provide low and moderate income homeowners property tax relief under RSA 198:56-198:61, to distribute school building aid to school districts and approved chartered public schools pursuant to RSA 198:15-b, to distribute tuition and transportation funds to school districts for students attending career and technical education programs pursuant to RSA 188-E:9, to distribute special education aid to school districts pursuant to RSA 186-C:18, to fund department of education operating costs for a state student data collection and reporting system, and to fund kindergarten programs as may be determined by the general court. The state treasurer shall deposit into this fund immediately upon receipt:
(a) Funds certified to the state treasurer by the commissioner of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 77-A:20-a, relative to business profits taxes.
(b) Funds certified to the state treasurer by the commissioner of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 77-E:14, relative to business enterprise tax.
(c) Funds collected and paid over to the state treasurer by the commissioner of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 78-A:26, II relative to the tax on motor vehicle rentals.
(d) Funds collected and paid over to the state treasurer by the department of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 78:24, relative to tobacco taxes.
(e) Funds certified to the state treasurer by the commissioner of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 78-B:13, relative to real estate transfer taxes.
(f) Funds collected and paid over to the state treasurer by the department of revenue administration pursuant to RSA 83-F:7, I, relative to the utility property tax.
(g) [Repealed.]
(h) All moneys due the fund in accordance with RSA 284:21-j, relative to sweepstakes and the lottery.
(i) Tobacco settlement funds in the amount of $40,000,000 or, for any year in which the total tobacco settlement funds received by the state is less than $40,000,000, the total amount of tobacco settlement funds received by the state.
(j) The school portion of any revenue sharing funds distributed pursuant to RSA 31-A:4 which were apportioned to school districts in the property tax rate calculations in 1998.
(k) Funds collected and paid over to the state treasurer by the lottery commission pursuant to RSA 284:44, RSA 284:47, and RSA 287-I.
(l) Any other moneys appropriated from the general fund.
II. The education trust fund shall be nonlapsing. The state treasurer shall invest that part of the fund which is not needed for immediate distribution in short-term interest-bearing investments. The income from these investments shall be returned to the fund.

Source. 1999, 17:41; 338:8. 2004, 97:3; 200:4. 2005, 257:4, 15. 2006, 301:2. 2007, 272:2, eff. July 3, 2007. 2011, 258:9, IV, eff. July 1, 2011. 2017, 229:3, eff. July 1, 2017. 2019, 178:9, eff. Jan. 1, 2020; 215:3, eff. July 12, 2019. 2021, 91:60, 114, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 198:40

    198:40 Repealed by 2005, 257:22, II, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:02 a.m. –

Section 198:40-a

    198:40-a Cost of an Opportunity for an Adequate Education. –
I. For the biennium beginning July 1, 2015, the annual cost of providing the opportunity for an adequate education as defined in RSA 193-E:2-a shall be as specified in paragraph II. The department shall adjust the rates specified in this paragraph in accordance with RSA 198:40-d.
II. (a) A cost of $3,561.27 per pupil in the ADMA, plus differentiated aid as follows:
(b) An additional $1,780.63 for each pupil in the ADMA who is eligible for a free or reduced price meal; plus
(c) An additional $697.77 for each pupil in the ADMA who is an English language learner; plus
(d) An additional $1,915.86 for each pupil in the ADMA who is receiving special education services; plus
(e) An additional $697.77 for each third grade pupil in the ADMA with a score below the proficient level on the reading component of the state assessment administered pursuant to RSA 193-C:6 or the authorized, locally-administered assessment as provided in RSA 193-C:3, IV(i), provided the pupil is not eligible to receive differentiated aid pursuant to subparagraphs (b)-(d). A school district receiving aid under this subparagraph shall annually provide to the department of education documentation demonstrating that the district has implemented an instructional program to improve non-proficient pupil reading.
III. The sum total calculated under paragraph II shall be the cost of an adequate education. The department shall determine the cost of an adequate education for each municipality based on the ADMA of pupils who reside in that municipality.

Source. 2005, 257:6, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:02 a.m. 2008, 173:5, eff. July 1, 2009. 2011, 258:2, eff. July 1, 2011. 2012, 198:4-6, eff. July 1, 2012. 2016, 8:2, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. 2017, 100:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2017.

Section 198:40-b

    198:40-b Repealed by 2019, 346:236, I, eff. July 1, 2021. –

Section 198:40-c

    198:40-c Repealed by 2019, 346:236, II, eff. July 1, 2021. –

Section 198:40-d

    198:40-d Consumer Price Index Adjustment. – Beginning July 1, 2017 and every biennium thereafter, the department of education shall adjust the cost of an adequate education under RSA 198:40-a based on the average change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, Northeast Region, using the "services less medical care services" special aggregate index, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. The average change shall be calculated using the 3 calendar years ending 18 months before the beginning of the biennium for which the calculation is to be performed.

Source. 2008, 173:8, eff. July 1, 2011. 2011, 258:8, eff. July 1, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. 2016, 8:3, eff. Mar. 16, 2016.

Section 198:40-e

    198:40-e Relief Funding. –
I. In a school district in which 48 percent or more of the ADMA is eligible to receive a free or reduced-priced meal, an additional $600 for each pupil in the ADMA who is eligible for a free or reduced-priced meal.
II. In a school district in which at least 12 percent but less than 48 percent of the ADMA is eligible to receive a free or reduced-priced meal, an amount equal to $150 plus $0.1250 for each 0.01 percent that its free or reduced-priced meal eligibility rate exceeds 12 percent, for each pupil in the ADMA who is eligible for a free or reduced-priced meal.
III. A school district in which less than 12 percent of the ADMA is eligible to receive a free or reduced-priced meal shall receive no additional aid under this section.
IV. The department of education shall adjust aid to each district calculated under this section to the statewide total of $17,500,000. Adjustments under this paragraph shall be made on a pro-rata basis.

Source. 2021, 91:53, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 198:41

    198:41 Determination of Education Grants. –
I. Except for municipalities where all school districts therein provide education to all of their pupils by paying tuition to other institutions, the department of education shall determine the total education grant for the municipality as follows:
(a) Add the per pupil cost of providing the opportunity for an adequate education for which each pupil is eligible pursuant to RSA 198:40-a, I-III, and from such amount;
(b) Subtract the amount of the education tax warrant to be issued by the commissioner of revenue administration for such municipality reported pursuant to RSA 76:8 for the next tax year; and
(c) [Repealed.]
(d) Add the municipality's additional aid for relief funding pursuant to RSA 198:40-e.
II. For municipalities where all school districts therein provide education to all of their pupils by paying tuition to other institutions, the department of education shall determine the total education grant for each municipality as the lesser of the 2 following calculations:
(a) The amount calculated in accordance with paragraph I of this section; or
(b) The total amount paid for items of current education expense as determined by the department of education minus the amount of the education tax warrant to be issued by the commissioner of revenue administration for such municipality reported pursuant to RSA 76:8 for the next tax year.
III. (a) For the biennium ending June 30, 2013, the department of education shall not distribute a total education grant on behalf of all pupils who reside in a municipality that exceeds that municipality's total education grant in the second year of the previous biennium.
(b) [Repealed.]
IV. (a) For fiscal year 2012, the department of education shall identify all municipalities in which the fiscal year 2012 total education grant will be less than the fiscal year 2011 total education grant. The department shall distribute a stabilization grant to each of those municipalities equal to 100 percent of the decrease.
(b) For fiscal year 2013, the department of education shall identify all municipalities in which the fiscal year 2013 total education grant, including any stabilization grant distributed pursuant to subparagraph (a), will be less than the fiscal year 2011 total education grant. The department shall distribute funds to each of those municipalities equal to 100 percent of the decrease.
(c) For fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2016, the department of education shall distribute a total education grant to each municipality in an amount equal to the total education grant for the fiscal year in which the grant is calculated plus the amount of the fiscal year 2012 stabilization grant, if any, distributed to the municipality.
(d) For fiscal year 2017 and each fiscal year thereafter, the department of education shall distribute a total education grant to each municipality in an amount equal to the total education grant for the fiscal year in which the grant is calculated plus a percentage of the municipality's fiscal year 2012 stabilization grant, if any, distributed to the municipality; the percentage shall be 96 percent for fiscal year 2017, 92 percent for fiscal year 2018, 88 percent for fiscal year 2019, and 100 percent for fiscal year 2020 and each fiscal year thereafter. No stabilization grant shall be distributed to any municipality for any fiscal year in which the municipality's education property tax revenue collected pursuant to RSA 76 exceeds the total cost of an adequate education or to any municipality for any fiscal year in which the municipality's ADMA is zero.
V. The department shall use the best available data and methods to estimate ADMA and education grants by November 15 of the year preceding the school year for which aid is determined.
VI. The department shall produce a revised estimate of grants using actual determination year data for the purpose of settling municipal tax rates. A municipality's grant estimate shall not be less than 95 percent of the estimate reported pursuant to paragraph V. The commissioner of the department of education shall provide the estimate for the current fiscal year to the commissioner of the department of revenue administration no later than October 1 of each year.
VII. When final determination year data is available, but not later than April 1, the department shall make a final determination of grant amounts. A municipality's grant estimate shall not be less than 95 percent of the estimate reported pursuant to paragraph V. The department shall adjust the April grant disbursement required pursuant to RSA 198:42 so that the total amount disbursed for the fiscal year shall match the final grant determination.
VIII. Reports of grant determinations for municipalities required pursuant to paragraphs V-VII shall be available to the public by the date specified in paragraphs V-VII, and the department shall make available a report for multi-town school districts. The department of education shall provide the department of revenue administration the information needed to set tax rates.

Source. 1999, 17:41; 338:10. 2003, 241:7. 2004, 200:8; 244:4. 2005, 257:7, 8. 2006, 6:1, 2. 2007, 270:3, eff. June 29, 2007. 2008, 173:9, eff. July 1, 2009; 173:17, I, eff. June 30, 2009; 173:17, III, eff. July 1, 2011. 2011, 258:3, eff. July 1, 2011. 2013, 4:1, eff. Mar. 18, 2013; 144:120, eff. July 1, 2013. 2015, 276:139, eff. July 1, 2015; 276:140, eff. July 1, 2017. 2016, 8:4, 5, eff. Mar. 16, 2016; 85:9, eff. July 18, 2016. 2019, 346:235, eff. July 1, 2020; 346:236, III, eff. July 1, 2021; 346:238, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:57, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 198:42

    198:42 Distribution Schedule of Adequate Education Grants; Appropriation. –
I. The adequate education grant determined in RSA 198:41 shall be distributed to each municipality's school district or districts from the education trust fund in 4 payments of 20 percent on September 1, 20 percent on November 1, 30 percent on January 1, and 30 percent on April 1 of each school year; provided that for a dependent school district, the grant determined in RSA 198:41 shall be distributed to the municipality, which shall appropriate and transfer the grant funds to its dependent school department.
II. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2005, and every fiscal year thereafter, the amount necessary to fund the grants under RSA 198:41 is hereby appropriated to the department from the education trust fund created under RSA 198:39. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant from the education trust fund to satisfy the state's obligation under this section. Such warrant for payment shall be issued regardless of the balance of funds available in the education trust fund. If the balance in the education trust fund, after the issuance of any such warrant, is less than zero, the comptroller shall transfer sufficient funds from the general fund to eliminate such deficit. The commissioner of the department of administrative services shall inform the fiscal committee and the governor and council of such balance. This reporting shall not in any way prohibit or delay the distribution of adequate education grants.
III. The department of education shall certify the amount of each grant to the state treasurer and direct the payment thereof to the school district or municipality.

Source. 1999, 17:41; 65:3; 303:11. 2003, 319:159. 2004, 200:9. 2005, 257:9. 2006, 301:5. 2007, 270:3, eff. June 29, 2007. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008; 354:1, eff. Sept. 5, 2008. 2011, 224:153, eff. July 1, 2011. 2012, 198:3, eff. July 1, 2012. 2013, 144:61, eff. July 1, 2013. 2016, 8:6, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. 2017, 156:153, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 198:43

    198:43 Additional Education Expenditures. – School districts are authorized to develop educational programs beyond those required for an adequate education and to raise and appropriate amounts necessary for such programs.

Source. 1999, 17:41. 2005, 257:15. 2007, 270:3, eff. June 29, 2007.

Section 198:43-a

    198:43-a Severability. – If any provision of RSA 198:38 through RSA 198:43 or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of RSA 198:38 through RSA 198:43 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, such provisions are declared to be severable.

Source. 2011, 258:4, eff. July 1, 2011.

Section 198:44

    198:44 Repealed by 2016, 8:13, II, eff. Mar. 16, 2016. –

Section 198:45

    198:45 Submission of Data. – The governing body of every school district, city, joint maintenance agreement, chartered public school, or approved public academy shall submit all records, data, or other information required under this subdivision in accordance with the provisions of RSA 189:28.

Source. 1999, 17:41. 2003, 314:3. 2005, 189:3, eff. Aug. 29, 2005. 2008, 354:1, eff. Sept. 5, 2008. 2014, 247:1, eff. Sept. 19, 2014. 2016, 8:7, eff. Mar. 16, 2016.

Section 198:45-a

    198:45-a Repealed by 2003, 241:34, eff. July 1, 2004. –

Local Control and Alternative Kindergarten Programs

Section 198:46

    198:46 Repealed by 2011, 258:9, II, eff. July 1, 2011. –

Section 198:47

    198:47 Repealed by 2011, 258:9, III, eff. July 1, 2011. –

Section 198:48

    198:48 Maintenance of Local Control. – Distributions under RSA 198:42 are based on adequate education costs determined in RSA 198:41 and are independent of how the municipalities decide to spend the distributions or other funds they may raise for education. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, nothing in this subdivision is intended in any way to limit or control how school districts operate or spend their budgets except that adequate education grants must be expended for educational purposes. Adequate education grants shall not be considered unanticipated funds under RSA 198:20-b.

Source. 1999, 17:41; 338:11. 2000, 201:2. 2004, 200:12. 2005, 257:19. 2007, 270:3, eff. June 29, 2007.

Section 198:48-a

    198:48-a Alternative Kindergarten Programs. –
I. A school district that currently does not operate a kindergarten program within an approved public school maintained by the local district or currently does not contract with another established public kindergarten program for the education of its resident kindergarten pupils, may submit to the commissioner of the department of education a local plan for an alternative kindergarten program based upon contractual arrangements with one or more nonpublic, non-sectarian schools or facilities. An alternative kindergarten program shall be:
(a) Offered immediately preceding the other elementary grades.
(b) Designed primarily for 5-year-olds.
(c) Available at district expense to all kindergarten-aged children who reside in the district.
II. An alternative kindergarten program shall satisfy the same criteria established for public kindergarten programs in the New Hampshire standards for school approval.
III. A local plan for an alternative kindergarten program shall be approved by the school board. A local plan for an alternative kindergarten program shall be submitted to the commissioner of the department of education at times established by the commissioner.
IV. A local plan shall contain the following information:
(a) A description of the alternative kindergarten program.
(b) A list of the nonpublic, non-sectarian schools or facilities to be utilized.
(c) Evidence that the alternative kindergarten program satisfies the same criteria established for public kindergarten programs in the New Hampshire minimum standards for the approval of schools.
(d) Procedures for coordinating and articulating curriculum, instruction, and support services provided under the alternative kindergarten program with curriculum, instruction, and support services provided in the other elementary grades.
(e) An explanation of how students will be transported to and from the schools or facilities to be utilized.
V. The plan shall be reviewed by the department of education for compliance with statutory requirements.
VI. If an approved alternative kindergarten program utilizes more than one school or facility, the school board or the superintendent or other administrative officer designated by the school board may take into consideration parental preference when assigning students to schools or facilities.
VII. (a) Upon the effective date of this paragraph, and for each fiscal year through June 30, 2003, an adequate education grant of $1,200 per pupil shall be distributed to school districts, from the education trust fund created in RSA 198:39, for the education of its resident kindergarten pupils enrolled in an approved alternative kindergarten program established under this section.
(b) Once pupils enrolled in an approved alternative kindergarten program have been counted in the average daily membership in residence, school districts shall receive, for each such pupil, an adequate education grant calculated in accordance with RSA 198:41 through RSA 198:42.
VIII. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, alternative kindergarten programs which were approved and in effect prior to April 29, 1999 may continue to operate and shall continue to receive per pupil adequate education grant amounts in accordance with RSA 198:41 through RSA 198:42.

Source. 2000, 289:1. 2001, 158:36. 2005, 257:20. 2007, 270:3, eff. June 29, 2007. 2008, 384:4, eff. July 11, 2008. 2017, 63:8, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.

Section 198:48-b

    198:48-b Kindergarten Adequate Education Grants. –
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary:
I. A school district which operates a full-day kindergarten program in any school year in which the adequate education grant provided pursuant to RSA 198:42 does not include a count of the full-day kindergarten students, shall receive an additional adequate education grant based on the number of pupils attending kindergarten in the district as of the beginning of the school year.
II. The per pupil amount of the additional education grant provided in this section shall be 50 percent of the amount distributed under RSA 198:40-a, II(a), based on the number of pupils enrolled and present on the first day of school in the current year in a full-day kindergarten program in the district. Once pupils enrolled in an approved kindergarten program have been counted in the average daily membership, school districts shall receive, for each such pupil, an adequate education grant calculated in accordance with RSA 198:40-a, II.
III. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, and every fiscal year thereafter, the amount necessary to fund the grants under this section is hereby appropriated to the department from the education trust fund established in RSA 198:39. If the balance in the education trust fund is less than zero, the governor is authorized to draw a warrant for sufficient funds to eliminate such deficit out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. The commissioner of the department of administrative services shall inform the fiscal committee and the governor and council of such balance. This reporting shall not in any way prohibit or delay the distribution of kindergarten adequate education grants.

Source. 2008, 384:2, eff. July 11, 2008. 2020, 38:2, eff. July 29, 2020. 2021, 91:315, eff. June 30, 2021.

Section 198:48-c

    198:48-c Kindergarten Grants. –
I. (a) For fiscal year 2019, in addition to any funds received pursuant to RSA 198:40-a, in the first year that a school district or chartered public school that operates an approved full-day kindergarten program, the commissioner of the department of education shall calculate and distribute a grant of $1,100 per kindergarten pupil based on the enrollment number of eligible full-day kindergarten pupils on the first day of the school year. The superintendent, or designee, shall certify the enrollment number of kindergarten pupils to the commissioner.
(b) For fiscal year 2019, once pupils enrolled in an approved full-day kindergarten program have been counted in the school district's average daily membership in attendance as defined in RSA 198:38, I, a school district, or a chartered public school based on its kindergarten average daily membership enrollment number, shall receive, in addition to any funds received pursuant to RSA 198:40-a, an additional grant of $1,100 per kindergarten pupil attending a full-day kindergarten program. The commissioner shall certify the amount of the grant to the state treasurer and direct the payment thereof from the education trust fund established in RSA 198:39 to the school district or chartered public school.
(c) Grants shall be disbursed to a school district pursuant to the distribution schedule in RSA 198:42 and to a chartered public school pursuant to the distribution schedule in RSA 194-B:11, I(c).
(d) The amount necessary to fund the grants under this section is hereby appropriated to the department from the education trust fund. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant from the education trust fund to satisfy the state's obligation under this section.
II. A school district or chartered public school that operates an approved full-day kindergarten program for which it receives funding under this section shall permit a pupil to attend kindergarten for a half-day.
III. [Repealed.]

Source. 2017, 229:4, eff. July 1, 2017. 2019, 346:233, eff. July 1, 2019 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 198:49

    198:49 Repealed by 2005, 257:22, I, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:02 a.m. –

Education Property Tax Hardship Relief

Section 198:50 to 198:55

    198:50 to 198:55 Repealed by 1999, 338:22, eff. July 1, 2002, and 2001, 158:82, eff. July 1, 2002. –

Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief

Section 198:56

    198:56 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of revenue administration.
II. "Homestead" means the dwelling owned by a claimant or, in the case of a multi-unit dwelling, the portion of the dwelling which is owned and used as the claimant's principal place of residence and the claimant's domicile for purposes of RSA 654:1. "Homestead" shall not include land and buildings taxed under RSA 79-A or land and buildings or the portion of land and buildings rented or used for commercial or industrial purposes. In this paragraph, the term "owned" includes:
(a) A vendee in possession under a land contract;
(b) One or more joint tenants or tenants in common; or
(c) A person who has equitable title, or the beneficial interest for life in the homestead.
III. "Household income" means the sum of the adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes of the claimant and any adult member of the claimant's household who resides in the homestead for which a claim is made. "Household income" shall also include all income of any trust through which the claimant holds equitable title, or the beneficial interest for life, in the homestead.
IV. "Tax relief" means the low and moderate income homeowners property tax relief provided in this subdivision.
V. "New Hampshire household" means any person filing a federal income tax return as head of household or 2 or more adults who jointly share the benefit of the homestead. "New Hampshire household" shall not include those adults who share the homestead under a landlord-tenant relationship.
VI. "Dependent" means a person residing in a homestead who is claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.

Source. 2001, 158:80, eff. July 1, 2002.

Section 198:57

    198:57 Low and Moderate Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief. –
I. Pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision, eligible claimants shall be granted tax relief following the effective date of this subdivision.
II. Residents shall apply to the department of revenue administration for such tax relief.
III. An eligible tax relief claimant is a person who:
(a) Owns a homestead or interest in a homestead subject to the education tax;
(b) Resided in such homestead on April 1 of the year for which the claim is made, except such persons as are on active duty in the United States armed forces or are temporarily away from such homestead but maintain the homestead as a primary domicile; and
(c) Realizes total household income of:
(1) $37,000 or less if a single person;
(2) $47,000 or less if a married person or head of a New Hampshire household.
IV. All or a portion of an eligible tax relief claimant's state education property taxes, RSA 76:3, shall be rebated as follows:
(a) Multiply the total local assessed value of the claimant's property by the percentage of such property that qualifies as the claimant's homestead;
(b) Multiply $220,000 by the most current local equalization ratio as determined by the department of revenue administration;
(c) Multiply the lesser of the amount determined in subparagraph (a) or (b) by the education tax rate as shown on the tax bill under RSA 76:11-a;
(d) Multiply the product of the calculation in subparagraph (c) by the following percentage as applicable to determine the amount of tax relief available to the claimant:
(1) If a single person and total household income is:
(A) less than $23,100, 100 percent;
(B) $23,100 but less than $27,800, 60 percent;
(C) $27,800 but less than $32,400, 40 percent; or
(D) $32,400 but less than or equal to $37,000, 20 percent.
(2) If a head of a New Hampshire household or a married person and total household income is:
(A) less than $29,400, 100 percent;
(B) $29,400 but less than $35,300, 60 percent;
(C) $35,300 but less than $41,100, 40 percent; or
(D) $41,100 but less than or equal to $47,000, 20 percent.
(e) The amount determined by subparagraph (d) is the allowable tax relief in any year.
V. If a homestead is owned by 2 or more persons as joint tenants or tenants in common, and one or more of such joint owners do not principally reside at such homestead, tax relief applies to the proportionate share of the homestead value that reflects the ownership percentage of the claimant. Only one claim may be filed for a single homestead.
VI. (a) Complete applications for state tax relief shall be filed with the department of revenue administration between May 1 and June 30 following the due date of the final tax bill as defined in RSA 76:1-a for state education property taxes.
(b) The commissioner may accept late filed, but complete, applications filed on or before November 1, under the following circumstances:
(1) The claimant satisfies the commissioner that the claimant was prevented from timely filing the application due to accident, mistake or misfortune.
(2) The claimant or other adult member of the household requested an extension of time to file his or her federal income tax return.
VII. Each claimant shall provide a copy of his or her federal income tax return and a copy of the federal income tax return for each adult member of the claimant's household for the corresponding tax period. Claimants and adult household members who were not required to file a federal tax return for the immediately prior tax period may submit an affidavit to such effect in lieu of a tax return which document shall include the affiant's social security number. A claimant or any other adult member of the household, who requested an extension to file his or federal income tax return, shall attach a copy of the federal extension to the claim. A claimant who asserts ownership in a homestead because he or she holds equitable title, or the beneficial interest for life, in the homestead shall also submit a copy of the document creating such interest and a copy of the federal tax return, if any, for the immediately prior tax period, of the trust holding legal title to the homestead. Any documents submitted shall be considered confidential, and protected under RSA 21-J:14.
VIII. The provisions of RSA 359-C shall not apply to the documents required to be submitted under this section.

Source. 2001, 158:80. 2004, 238:6. 2005, 257:12, 13, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:02 a.m. 2008, 173:15, eff. July 1, 2009. 2021, 95:1, eff. Aug. 30, 2021.

Section 198:58

    198:58 Rulemaking; Forms; Notice. –
I. The commissioner shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, relative to the administration of the tax relief provisions of this subdivision.
II. The commissioner shall approve and provide forms relative to the administration of this subdivision.
III. Claim forms shall include the following:
(a) Instructions on completing and filing the form;
(b) Sections for information concerning the claimant, the claimant's household, the property for which tax relief is sought, and such other information as is reasonably necessary to determine the accuracy of the claim;
(c) Instructions on appeal procedure and time limits relative to such appeals; and
(d) A place for the claimant's signature with a certification by the claimant that the claim is made in good faith and that the facts contained in the claim are true.
IV. The commissioner shall publicize notice of the tax relief provisions in a suitable manner.

Source. 2001, 158:80, eff. July 1, 2002.

Section 198:59

    198:59 Penalties; Assessment of Erroneous Claims. –
I. Any person who files a claim for tax relief under this subdivision with fraudulent intent and any person who assisted in the preparation or filing of the claim or supplied information upon which the claim was prepared shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
I-a. The commissioner shall have the authority to audit any claim for relief filed under this subdivision to determine whether the claim has been granted erroneously. Any such audit shall commence within 3 years after the claim has been granted. Any assessment made by the commissioner shall be subject to appeal in accordance with RSA 198:60, I.
II. The commissioner may assess and collect the amount of any sums granted for property tax relief relative to a fraudulent or erroneously paid claim for tax relief including interest provided under RSA 21-J:28 and an additional penalty of 25 percent for the erroneous amount of such claim or an additional penalty of the greater of 25 percent or $1,000 for a fraudulent claim.

Source. 2001, 158:80. 2004, 238:7, eff. June 15, 2004.

Section 198:60

    198:60 Appeals. –
I. Whenever the commissioner refuses to grant a claimant tax relief, or after an audit, assesses an amount against the claimant for property tax relief granted including interest and applicable penalties for an erroneously paid claim, the claimant may appeal in writing within 30 days of notice of such refusal or assessment to the board of tax and land appeals.
II. The board of tax and land appeals may reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or modify the decision appealed from when there is an error of law or when the board finds the commissioner's action to be arbitrary or unreasonable.

Source. 2001, 158:80. 2004, 238:8, eff. June 15, 2004.

Section 198:61

    198:61 Refund of Tax Claims. – The department of revenue administration shall review a claim for tax relief filed with it and, if such claim is determined to be valid, shall certify such amount to the state treasurer within 120 days who shall pay such claims from funds in the education trust fund. Such sums are hereby appropriated and the governor is authorized to draw a warrant from the education trust fund to satisfy the state's obligation under this section. Such warrant for payment shall be issued regardless of the balance of funds available in the education trust fund. If the balance in the education trust fund, after the issuance of any such warrant, is less than zero, the commissioner of the department of revenue administration shall inform the fiscal committee and the governor and council of such balance. This reporting shall not in any way prohibit or delay the payment of valid claims. The department shall notify a claimant whose claim is rejected in whole or in part of such determination within 90 days of the department's receipt of the claim and all required documentation.

Source. 2001, 158:80. 2004, 238:11, eff. June 15, 2004.

Commission to Study Fiscal Disparities Between Public School Districts

Section 198:62

    198:62 Repealed by 2014, 309:2, eff. Nov. 2, 2014. –