Rochester schools to present forum on education funding inequities
ROCHESTER – Rochester Public Schools, in collaboration with the New Hampshire School Funding Fairness Project, invites the community to participate in a forum about education funding inequities in the state.
The informational program will be held on Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m., at the R.W. Creteau Technology Center at Spaulding High School, 140 Wakefield St.
The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has ruled that the state has a responsibility to provide funding for an adequate education. About 20 New Hampshire school districts have sued the state, arguing that the state’s current formula falls woefully short. For example, the state formula includes no funding for transportation, school nurses, or food services, and covers only a fraction of operations and maintenance costs.
In the current school year, the average per-pupil spending statewide is $19,300. The state will fund $4,700.
“If you look at the state funding, it’s not that some districts are spending wisely and some districts are spending foolishly. No school district in the state is close to spending $4,700 per pupil. We are at three times that, and it still is not enough to give kids what they need,” Superintendent Kyle Repucci said.
The city of Rochester operates under a tax and spending cap that limits budget increases each year.
New Hampshire ranks last in the nation in its support of K-12 education. Low state funding support places the burden of education spending on local taxpayers and local districts, which may include communities with very different tax bases and tax rates.
“The state’s continued failure to fulfill its fundamental, Constitutional responsibility to provide an adequate education is not a one-party issue. It is not a rural or urban issue,” said Zack Sheehan, Project Director for NHSFFP. “This system harms students and taxpayers across the state.”
This presentation is open to the public. To register, go to secure.everyaction.com/zGQOHS5y2EyecfuGhsdOtQ2.
“The School Board is happy to support all efforts to inform our stakeholders about all school topics, especially school funding,” School Board Chair Paul Lynch said. “We want to let people know the challenges we face, but also want to hear from them about ways to close this funding gap.”
“We invite everyone in the Rochester community to attend, and to have all of the information in front of them before they cast any vote,” Superintendent Repucci said.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce offers scholarships; deadline approaching
ROCHESTER — The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is providing $500 scholarship(s) to eligible students graduating from high school.
Students eligible for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce scholarship must be graduating seniors in high school who are either employed by or have a parent employed by a company that is a member of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
The recipient will be selected in April and be awarded in June at their school’s scholarship ceremony/graduation. The scholarship awarded will be payable to the institution they are attending in their second year of attending a full-time college, university or technical school.
Scholarship guidelines and applications are available at high schools in the region, at the Chamber office located at 18 South Main St., in Rochester or by visiting www.rochesternh.org. The deadline to submit the completed scholarship application is Thursday, March 31.
Member businesses are encouraged to be named as a Chamber Scholarship Champion by becoming a $100 donor to benefit the Chamber Scholarship Fund. This fund enables the Chamber to be able to provide scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors. Scholarship Champion businesses are listed on the Chamber website, on the award letter and recognized at award ceremonies. For more information on becoming a Chamber Scholarship Champion, call the Chamber office at 603-332-5080 or email [email protected].
York County Community College earns 2022-2023 Military Friendly School Designation
WELLS, Maine — York County Community College announced that it has earned the 2022-2023 Military Friendly School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-2023 survey with 665 earning special awards for going above the standard.
The 2022-2023 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer), and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
“YCCC is dedicated to supporting our Military community as they navigate through their collegiate journey. We continue to explore ways in which we can enhance our support services and ensure we provide the best educational experience,” said Jennifer Laney, Ph.D. YCCC Acting Dean of Students.
“Military Friendly is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process. Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunities for the Military Community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.” – Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly.
For more information about YCCC’s student veteran programs, visit: www.yccc.edu/admissions-aid/apply-to-yccc/military-dependents/.
Rochester Public Schools Restaurant Management students earn recognition at ProStart Competition
ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci and Director of Career Technical Education Michele Halligan-Foley announced that students from the R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center earned recognition at a statewide restaurant management competition.
Students from the Restaurant Management Program took part in the New Hampshire ProStart State Invitational, an annual competition in which participating teams demonstrate their abilities by planning a three course meal, getting ingredients while tracking costs, and then preparing the meal in 60 minutes for a panel of judges who evaluate taste, skill, teamwork, and safety and sanitation.
The team from Rochester was recognized for Safety and Sanitation.
Students began preparing for the competition in November, practicing twice a week to build communication skills and teamwork while honing the skills they learn from their career pathway.
The competition — the first one since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — was held March 8 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, with students from across the state competing.
Each participating student is assigned a task as the group works together to design a menu, make sure they have the proper ingredients, that the ingredients are properly handled and stored, and that the cost of all dishes has been calculated.
Students then prepare food from their menu in a 60-minute, timed competition, working together to create plates for both tasting and display.
“The ProStart Invitational requires students to demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills in addition to all of the more technical skills they learn, and we are proud that our students’ performance earned recognition from industry experts who served on the panel of judges,” said Director Halligan-Foley. “The students in the competition have to do it all on their own, and I was impressed while visiting the competition to see how well the students addressed some tough questions.”
Students who took part in the competition said it was challenging, but also a valuable learning experience.
“I learned that working as a team and using good communication skills is not as hard as it seems to be at first,” said senior Samantha Freeman.
Damien Campbell, a junior, said the experience helped him learn to keep his station clean even while working quickly and under pressure.
“I learned how to connect with people,” said senior Wyatt Ebare. “I also learned how to take constructive criticism.”
Senior Bradley Silcocks said the competition also showed him that challenges can be overcome with commitment and persistence.
“It’s easier said than done, but with hard work, it can be done,” Silcocks said.
“The Restaurant Management Program teaches students skills of the trade that go far beyond just cooking. The program prepares students for a career in the industry or a career running a business, and we cover every aspect of the business from the front of the house to the back of the house,” said Superintendent Repucci. “I’m proud of the performance of our students, and of their ability to put their skills to use in a competitive environment.”
Portsmouth High School Career Technical Center students earn top placements in State Skills Competitions
PORTSMOUTH — From March 14 through March 18, students from the Portsmouth High School Career Technical Center competed in the 45th Annual SkillsUSA NH Leadership and Skills Competitions across the state. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit national education association that supports a partnership between students, teachers, and industry who work together to ensure a skilled workforce for our country’s needs.
During this year’s competition Automotive Technology instructor and SkillsUSA NH advisor, Mr. Dave Lilly, had students from his career and technical education program participate in Diesel Equipment Technology, Power Equipment Technology and Automotive Service Technology skills competitions. Culinary Arts instructor and Gourmet Club advisor, Chef Beth Brown, had students compete in the state’s Culinary Arts skills competition. It was the culinary program’s first foray into Skills competition.
On Saturday, March 19 the SkillsUSA NH students and their teachers headed to Salem High School Career Technical Center to attend the state’s award ceremony. The following students earned medals that placed them in the top of their field of studies across New Hampshire:
Culinary Arts, Gold medal: Elisabeth “Betsy” Townsend
Power Equipment Technology, Gold medal: Nick Kyrousis and Bronze medal: Calvin Puglisi
Diesel Equipment Technology, Bronze medal: Ethan Lantz
Automotive Service Technology, Gold medal: Adam Croteau
“We are so proud of these state champions who have worked hard in their CTE programs to develop the skills that placed them among the top 50 across the nation. And of course thankful to have amazing program instructors that mentor our students,” a release stated. This year’s gold medalists have the opportunity to travel to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference from June 20 to June 24. The conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia and will host more than 6,500 CTE State competition winners who will compete in 107 different trades competitions.
These competitions were made possible by the support of many N.H. businesses including M. B. Tractor, Portsmouth Ford, and the JGroup Hospitality (home of Jumpin’ Jay’s, Moxy, Vida Cantina, Street, The Franklin and many more). If you would like to contribute to support the state champions travel to Nationals, contact Beth Harriman at 603-436-7100 x2903 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Rochester education funding inequities forum: Seacoast education news