We invited New Hampshire State Representative Murray to have lunch with us and discuss funding for robotics and STEM programs in New Hampshire public schools. Kate Murray is a democratic State Representative for New Castel and Rye and sits on the Financial Committee in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
As a team, we have seen many teams not be able to be as well funded as they want to be and organizations such as New Heights in Portsmouth to have to fold due to a lack of funding. We wanted to see what we can do to improve STEM funding in New Hampshire
Our discussion with Representative Murray was very informative. We learned about the funding structure for public schools in New Hampshire and how the tax base of a town greatly impacts the amount of funding a public school gets. This is because unlike other states New Hampshire doesn’t redistribute funding between towns. We also learned about the history of initiatives such as donor towns and how many state representatives are hesitant on funding public schools because the funding stream for public education comes partially from New Hampshire’s luxury good’s tax on things such as tobacco, alcohol, and gambling.
As a team, we think that this talk has provided us a launching point into talking to more state representatives, the head of public education in New Hampshire, and either testifying for or writing a bill for the state.