Forum, Nov. 29: N.H. Education Funding Is Not a Game

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
N.H. Education Funding Is Not a Game

I want to thank Re/Max Upper Valley Partners for the illustration and message in its advertising insert in the Nov. 22 Valley News. The advertisement is further proof of the need in New Hampshire for an improved approach to funding public school education.

By having Claremont’s average home sale price represented by the Mediterranean Avenue property on the Monopoly board, and Hanover’s average home sale price represented by the Boardwalk property, Re/Max clearly illustrated the disparity of support available to students attending public schools less than 30 miles away from each other.

Re/Max makes the point clearer by noting that this “is no game” and that such disparities “can make the difference between winning and losing.” Owning Boardwalk is far more desirable than owning Mediterranean Avenue. People, and by extension their children, “win” the game by owning homes in places like Boardwalk and Park Place and “lose” the game by owning homes in places like Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue.

Every year that passes without education funding reform in New Hampshire means thousands of New Hampshire students in communities like Claremont not getting the monetary support for their education that is right for them to receive. Adults should not be playing with the lives of children this way.

I hope our elected officials have also seen Re/Max’s advertisement and are galvanized to begin making changes to how the state of New Hampshire funds public education.

Brendan Armstrong


Obituary Photographs Are of Poor Quality

After contacting the Valley News a number of weeks ago to complain about the appearance of the obituaries, I was told that the newspaper was working to correct the problems of type sizes and fonts, layout, photo quality, etc.

The poor quality of the photographs in particular continues to be very bothersome. As is the case with many of the photos, the reader can barely make out the person who has died.

This is a great disservice to the person and family and needs to be fixed. Thank you for your attention.

Jon Stearns


Demand Safety for School Buses

I am a resident of Springfield, Vt. We had several school buses go off the road recently due to hazardous driving conditions and improper equipment. This is unacceptable. We should not have to worry about the safety of our children once they are turned over to our schools’ care. As soon as children get on the school bus, it is the responsibility of the school to ensure their safety.

One parent noted that her child sent her a text from the bus noting that “the ride was scary.” The parent emailed the principal of the school and was told the school does not have chains for the buses because it doesn’t own them. It contracts with Student Transportation of America.

If our school buses do not have proper winter tires, emergency snow chains and good drivers, then our children shouldn’t be on them.

I urge the public to call or write the School Board, superintendent and principals. Urge them to take stronger precautions regarding the safety of students on public school transportation. Request that they re-negotiate the contract with Student Transportation of America if the company cannot provide safe transportation.

All buses need to have studded winter tires, snow chains need to be available on every bus and they should be put on any day there is snow on the roads during the bus run. School cancellations should be decided on safety. We need to ensure that every road the buses travel on is safe before sending them out to pick up children. These dangerous bus rides scare the children. This needs to be taken seriously and acted on immediately.

I am not a parent. I have no interest in this matter other than the common decency that all citizens should feel toward the safety of children. The current situation is unacceptable. Demand our school district take the safety of our children seriously.

J.D. O’Guin

Springfield, Vt.

Snowed by Snow Totals In Weather Reports

I am writing concerning the Upper Valley weather forecast from AccuWeather, particularly about a recent snow.

During the day on Nov. 13 we got 2.5 inches of snow where I live in Lebanon. Hanover got about 4 inches. Yet the next day’s Valley News reported only 0.4 of an inch up to 6 p.m.

The following day it reported 0.7 of an inch of snow for the 24 hours up to 6 p.m. on the 14th, and then said the month-to-date total was 0.7 of an inch, ignoring the 0.4 of an inch the day before.

It seems to me that your reporting station is not in the populated area, and that for your readers maybe it should be. There are several to choose from.

Robert Z. Norman