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State Funding for Higher Education Still Below Pre-Recession Levels

August 30, 2017 Common Cents
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Student loan debt is the second largest source of U.S household debt, surpassing auto loans and credit card debt and only eclipsed by mortgages. Nationally, student loans totaled $1.34 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. State policies can have a role in reducing tuition costs students face at public institutions, but a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests states may not be devoting as many resources to containing higher education expenses for students as they did prior to the Great Recession. In New Hampshire, the State government allocates relatively few dollars to public higher education by certain key metrics compared to all other states, and average student debt loads are also the highest compared to those in other states.

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Medicaid to Schools: A Small Aspect of Medicaid but an Immense Resource for NH Schools

August 14, 2017 Common Cents
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Medicaid is an important program for many of New Hampshire’s children, and the schools those children attend serve as key providers of medical services for their students. The Medicaid to Schools program, which allows schools to enroll as healthcare providers and receive federal reimbursements for providing Medicaid services, helps thousands of New Hampshire children through a variety of on- and off-site services, ranging from school nurses to speech therapists and other medical specialists. Many of these services are legally required, and the Medicaid to Schools program helps pay for them.

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Revenues Down Slightly in Most Recent Fiscal Year

August 4, 2017 Common Cents
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Following a substantial growth in revenue in State fiscal year (SFY) 2016, the preliminary accrual figures for SFY 2017 have been tabulated and show essentially no change in tax and transfer revenues from SFY 2016 preliminary numbers, and a drop in overall revenues, for the General and Education Trust Funds. These unaudited numbers are subject to change, and the State’s final numbers will not be known until the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is completed at the end of the year. Last year, an additional $20.4 million in revenue was identified in the review process between the preliminary accrual and September 2016, so these 2017 figures are likely to vary in the coming months. However, the figures are not promising relative to the preliminary accrual figures for SFY 2016, suggesting revenue growth may have stalled.

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Food Insecurity in New Hampshire Remains Higher Than Pre-Recession Levels

21 Sep 2017

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A report released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service shows food insecurity nationally remained at roughly the same level in 2016, 12.3 percent of all households, as in 2015. Food insecurity is higher both nationally and in New Hampshire in the last three years than ten years ago, before the Great Recession. Although progress has been made nationally relative to the next most recent three-year period, New Hampshire has seen no statistically significant change in food insecurity between the last two three-year periods measured, and food insecurity remains higher above pre-Recession levels than the nation as a whole.