by Ed Naile
“New Hampshire “Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; and spreading the opportunities and advantages of education through the various parts of the country, being highly conducive to promote this end; it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools…”
Here is the “Education Clause” for all 50 states, found in their respective constitutions:
State Education Clauses
Notice how in almost every case the state is mandated or required to “establish” a statewide system of public schools.
Not in NH. Our Founding Fathers could read and write but they did no such thing.
NH established, by statute in our legislature, a local system of public education, funded locally.
That is what the Claremont Decision was determined to circumvent.
Here is how the Massachusetts Supra determined their constitution required a state funded system of schools:
“[W]e shall restrict ourselves to a determination whether the constitutional language of Part II, C. 5, § 2, is merely hortatory or aspirational, or whether [it] imposes instead a constitutional duty on the Commonwealth to ensure the education of children in the public schools. We conclude that a duty exists. Second, we shall attempt to describe the nature of that duty and where it lies. Third, we shall consider whether on this record such a duty is shown to be violated.”
Is New Hampshire’s education language in its Constitution “merely hortatory or aspirational,” or is mandated? See for yourself.
Or was NH scammed by an activist state supreme court as many other state supreme courts ruled? A reasonable citizen who cares about the rule of law can easily see by comparing other state constitutions that NH does not have a constitutionally mandated obligation to fund schools through the state budget.
The NH Sate Supreme Court went along with a national scheme to take local control away from public education. It has worked to a degree.
Thanks to the independent minded, Citizen Legislature of New Hampshire, we are still not subjected to a broad-based tax to fund a blatant violation of our Constitution by an activist court.