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New Hampshire Supreme Court Hears Claremont Argument

On January 9th, 2002, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a short decision maintaining jurisdiction and requesting briefs from plaintiffs and the state by Feb. 1 on whether standards of accountability for schools are a part of "constitutional adequacy."

On January 3, 2002, the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments from plaintiffs and the state on whether the court should retain jurisdiction and declare that the state has not yet complied with its earlier Claremont decisions or accept the state's current definition of a adequate education and close that portion of the case. Plaintiffs said that the state has not defined an adequate education, but is merely relying on regulations in effect before the Claremont rulings. The state, on the other hand, said that further court involvement would infringe on the legislature's policymaking role.

The oral argument followed the court's December 5, 2001 order bifurcating the case. The court decided to hear arguments itself on the state's definition of an adequate education, while remanding to a Superior Court the question whether the state has set the cost of an adequate education at the right level. The cost figure determines the level of state funding.

Prepared January 9, 2002