TITLE XV
EDUCATION

Chapter 195-A
AUTHORIZED REGIONAL ENROLLMENT AREA (AREA) SCHOOLS

Section 195-A:1

    195-A:1 Definitions. –
The terms used in this chapter shall be construed as follows, unless a different meaning is clearly apparent from the language or context:
I. "School district" shall mean a town school district, a special school district, a cooperative school district, an incorporated school district operating within a city, and a city operating a dependent school department.
II. "Elementary school" shall mean a program comprising all grades from the kindergarten or grade one through grade 6, or kindergarten or grade one through grade 8.
III. "Secondary school" shall mean a program comprising all grades from grade 7 through grade 12, or grade 9 through grade 12 and may include a junior high school program comprising grades 7 and 8 or 7, 8 and 9 as well as a high school program.
IV. "Area school" shall mean an authorized regional enrollment area school, which may be elementary or secondary, and which when approved as hereinafter provided, shall be the assigned school for all the resident elementary or secondary pupils of the school districts or portions thereof within the region which it is established to serve.
V. "Sending district" shall mean any school district or portion thereof which sends its resident pupils to an area school located in a receiving district, paying tuition therefor to the receiving district.
VI. "Receiving district" shall mean a school district in which an area school is located.
VII. "School board" shall mean the school board, board of education or school committee of each school district.
VIII. [Repealed.]
IX. "Tuition" shall mean the sum of money which each sending district is obligated to pay to the receiving district to defray the cost of education of each of its resident pupils, for a school year, at the area school in the receiving district to which such pupils are assigned and it may be subdivided into elementary school tuition, junior high school tuition, high school tuition, or any other reasonable combination of grades, and shall be fixed as provided in RSA 195-A:3. Tuition may include an annual rental charge per pupil. The obligation of a sending district to pay tuition to a receiving school shall not be deemed indebtedness of such district for the purpose of determining its borrowing capacity under RSA 33.
X. "Annual rental charge per pupil" shall mean that additional payment included in tuition as defined in paragraph IX which represents a fair charge for building occupancy. It may also include a fair charge for any debt service and reduction of principal, which may become due between date of bond issue and date of building occupancy.
XI. "Date of operating responsibility" shall mean the date on which the area school shall officially open and shall relieve the schools of the sending districts, serving the corresponding grades, of their obligation to operate.
XII. "Meeting of a receiving district" may include any regular or special session of its legislative body in the case of a city with a dependent school department, or of its school board in the case of any separately incorporated school district within a city in which district meetings have been abolished.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1965, 112:1, 2; 311:1. 1967, 152:1. 1969, 104:7. 1986, 41:29, VIII, eff. April 3, 1988.

Section 195-A:2

    195-A:2 Policy and Standards. –
I. It is the purpose of this chapter to increase educational opportunities within the state by encouraging the establishment of area schools in the receiving districts which will serve the receiving district and the sending districts throughout a natural social and economic region which has an adequate minimum taxable valuation and a number of pupils sufficient to permit efficient use of such area school facilities and to provide improved instruction. The state board may formulate and adopt additional standards consistent with this purpose and these standards; and the state board shall approve plans for the establishment of area schools only after determining that such establishment will be in accord with such standards and purposes set forth herein.
II. Geographical Plan. The state board is authorized and directed to prepare and publish a plan subdividing the territory of the state into suggested regions for area schools indicating the suggested receiving district or districts for the schools of each region, which shall be compatible with the plan for suggested cooperative school districts, and which plan shall meet the standards formulated under paragraph I. This plan shall be reasonably compatible with the areas of the several school administrative units. From time to time thereafter the state board may modify such plan.
III. Advisory Powers of State Board. The state board may prepare recommended forms of written plans for area schools and for enlargement of the areas served thereby and may furnish its advisory services to area school planning boards or school boards who have such matters under consideration.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1979, 459:4, eff. Aug. 24, 1979.

Section 195-A:3

    195-A:3 Procedure. –
I. Any town, city or special school district pursuant to an article in the warrant for any annual or special meeting may vote to create an area school planning committee consisting of 3 qualified voters of whom at least one shall be a member of the school board. The members of the committee shall be elected at the meeting at which the committee is created, unless the district determines that they shall be appointed by the moderator. The members of the committee shall serve without pay for a term ending (a) at the third annual meeting of the district following the creation of the committee, if the committee is created at an annual meeting, or (b) at the first annual meeting of the district next following the expiration of 3 years from the date of the creation of the committee, if the committee is created at a special meeting, or (c) upon issuance by the state board of its certificate that a plan for an area school has been adopted in which the district is a participant. If the term of the committee ends at an annual meeting of the district, the district may create a successor area school planning committee pursuant to the foregoing provisions. Vacancies on the committee shall be filled by the moderator for the balance of the unexpired term. The district may appropriate money to meet the expenses of the committee at the meeting at which it is created or at any subsequent district meeting, notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 32 or RSA 197:3; and such expenses may include the cost of publication and distribution of reports. Area school planning committees from any 2 or more school districts may join together to form an area school planning board, which shall organize by the election of a chairman and a clerk-treasurer. The planning board may thereafter admit to membership planning committees from other school districts, but the members of a planning committee shall not be members of more than one planning board at any one time; provided, however, that a planning board so created may also study the advisability of forming a cooperative school district, if eligible therefor. An area school planning board shall act by a majority vote of its total membership.
II. In cities which operate a dependent school department, the power to create and appoint such an area school planning committee of 3, whose members shall serve for a term of 3 years from date of appointment, is vested in the school board; but the expenses of such planning committee, as defined in paragraph I, shall be raised and appropriated by the legislative body of such city upon certification by the school board. Vacancies on the committee shall be filled by the school board for the balance of the unexpired term, and the school board may create and appoint a successor area school planning committee pursuant to the foregoing provisions.
III. In cities in which there is a separately incorporated school district but where district meetings have been abolished, the power to create and appoint such an area school planning committee of 3, whose members shall serve for a term of 3 years from date of appointment, is vested in the school board who shall also have the power to raise and appropriate money for the expenses of such committee as defined in paragraph I. Vacancies on the committee shall be filled by the school board for the balance of the unexpired term, and the school board may create and appoint a successor area school planning committee pursuant to the foregoing provisions.
IV. It shall be the duty of the area school planning board to study the advisability of adopting an area school plan within the region in accordance with the standards set forth in RSA 195-A:2 and the advisability of establishing or constructing, maintaining and operating an area school or schools to serve the needs of such region; to estimate the construction and operating costs thereof; to estimate the tuition costs; to investigate the methods of financing such area school or schools, and any other matters pertaining to the organization and operation of an area school; and to submit a report or reports of its findings and recommendations to the several school districts.
V. An area school planning board may recommend that there be established an authorized regional enrollment area plan for elementary or secondary schools, or both, or any other reasonable combination of grades, composed of all the school districts represented by its membership or any specified combination thereof. At the time such recommendation is made, the planning board shall prepare a written plan for the proposed regional enrollment area, which shall be signed by at least a majority of the membership of such board, which shall set forth the following:
(a) The name or names of each area school or schools proposed, and the receiving district in which such schools shall be located;
(b) The sending districts or portions thereof which, together with the receiving district, shall form the region which each area school or schools shall serve;
(c) The grades for which each area school or schools shall be responsible (which may include a combination of elementary and secondary grades or any other reasonable classification);
(d) The formula for calculation of tuition;
(e) The manner in which any form of state aid shall be credited, unless otherwise expressly provided by law;
(f) The existing school buildings in the several school districts which shall be discontinued;
(g) The existing school buildings in the receiving district which shall be designated as an area school or schools including any existing buildings to be initially enlarged;
(h) The proposed new area school building or buildings to be initially constructed in the receiving district and the initial location of same;
(i) The estimated initial enrollment in each area school from each of the sending districts and from the receiving district;
(j) The proposed date or dates of operating responsibility of each planned area school, which date may be subsequently postponed by the state board upon petition of a receiving or sending district, in the event of unforeseen circumstances or for good cause shown;
(k) The scheduled date or dates during each year upon which tuition payments shall be made by the sending districts to the receiving districts and whether the tuition shall be payable in installments, or in a lump sum;
(l) Procedure for improvement or changes in curriculum and other school programs and services;
(m) The method, time, and manner in which the plan may be amended, subject to state board approval, where not incompatible with law;
(n) The term of the agreement, which shall be for a minimum of 10 years unless otherwise provided by mutual agreement of the school districts consistent with the provisions of RSA 195-A:3, XI;
(o) The manner in which the interests of the school boards of the sending districts will be addressed;
(p) Whether the districts within the area plan shall adopt the provisions of RSA 194-B, and how the adoption of such provisions will affect the districts within the area plan;
(q) Any other matters, not incompatible with law, which the area school planning board may consider appropriate to include in such written plan.
VI. Before finally agreeing upon a proposed regional plan, the area school planning board shall hold at least one public hearing thereon in each district within the proposed region and shall give such notice thereof as it shall determine to be reasonable. An executed copy of the proposed plan shall be submitted by such planning board to the state board, and when the state board finds that such plan is in accord with the provisions of RSA 195-A:2 and of paragraph V of this section and is otherwise lawful and feasible, it shall approve the same and cause it to be submitted to the school boards of the several school districts included in the plan for acceptance by these school districts as provided in paragraph VII. The planning board may amend a proposed regional plan to conform to recommendations of the state board without holding further public hearings thereon.
VII. Upon receipt of written notice of the state board's approval of such plan, the school board of each town or special school district and of each incorporated school district within a city, which is included in the plan, shall cause such plan to be filed with the district clerk and to be submitted to the voters of the district as soon as may reasonably be possible at an annual or special meeting called for the purpose, the voting to be by ballot with the use of the checklist, after reasonable opportunity for debate in open meeting. The duty to call such meeting for such purpose may be enforced by the superior court in an equity proceeding commenced by any voter or taxpayer of such school district. The article in the warrant for such district meeting and the question on the ballot to be used at the meeting, shall be in substantially the following form:
"Shall the school district accept the provisions of RSA 195-A (as amended) providing for the establishment of an area school or schools located in __________ to serve the following grades __________ from the school districts of __________ and __________ and __________, etc. in accordance with the provisions of the plan on file with the district clerk?"
 
 
Yes square
 No square
 

VIII. In the case of cities with dependent school departments, the school board shall submit such plan, as approved by the state board, to the city clerk who shall communicate it to the legislative body of such city, and it shall be the duty of such legislative body, as soon as may be reasonably possible, to act upon the question set forth in paragraph VII with such nominal modification in the question as may be necessary, voting by roll call. In the case of any separately incorporated school district within a city in which district meetings have been abolished, the school board shall have power to adopt such plan for the district, voting by roll call on the question set forth in paragraph VII.
IX. If a majority of the voters present and voting in such school district meeting, including the legislative body of a city with a dependent school department and the school board of a city school district which has abolished district meetings, shall vote in the affirmative, the clerk of each school district shall forthwith send to the state board a certified copy of the warrant, certificate of posting, evidence of publication, if required, and minutes of the meeting or resolution adopted, as may be applicable to his district. If the state board finds that the plan has been thus adopted by each of the school districts named in the plan, it shall issue its certificate to that effect, which shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful adoption of the plan.
X. If any school district fails to vote in the affirmative on the proposed plan within 90 days after its school board receives notice of approval thereof by the state board, such district shall be deemed to have rejected the same. If the proposed plan fails of adoption by one or more of such school districts as herein required, it may be resubmitted to all or a different combination of such school districts either in its original form or as amended by the area school planning board, with the approval of the state board, and shall in such case be again acted upon by each school district as provided herein, but no further public hearing need be held by the planning board prior to such resubmission.
XI. An area plan adopted by the voters of the sending and receiving districts shall be valid for a minimum of 10 years unless otherwise provided by mutual agreement of the school districts. The area plan may be renegotiated at the request of a sending or receiving district or extended for additional 10-year periods upon a mutual vote of each sending and receiving school district legislative body 2 years prior to the expiration of the area plan.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1965, 112:3, 4; 311:2, 3. 1969, 104:8. 1998, 271:3. 1999, 15:1; 119:1. 2000, 106:2, eff. July 7, 2000. 2009, 241:13, eff. Sept. 14, 2009.

Section 195-A:4

    195-A:4 Application of School Laws. – An area school shall be maintained and operated by the receiving district and its school board in accordance with all the general school laws applicable to schools of the grades which it includes, except only as otherwise provided in this chapter. The receiving district shall be obligated to provide for the elementary or secondary school education, or both, of all the resident pupils of the sending districts as well as its own, in accordance with the approved regional plan as adopted under RSA 195-A:3. The sending districts shall be obligated to assign and send their resident pupils to the area school, or schools, in the receiving district as provided in such plan and to raise and appropriate annually the tuition of each such pupil to be paid to the receiving district. The liability to pay tuition may be enforced by the receiving district in an action of debt against a delinquent sending district to be commenced in the superior court for the county in which either district is located. Transportation of resident pupils of the sending districts to the area school shall be governed by the general school laws applicable thereto and shall be the responsibility of each sending district. An area school shall be deemed the assigned school for all resident pupils in the region which it is established to serve, for purposes of the school attendance laws, except as provided in RSA 193:3.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:4-a

    195-A:4-a Exception. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any agreement between a receiving district and a sending district, the school board of a receiving district and the school board of a sending district may mutually agree upon a showing of hardship by pupils from a sending district to exempt such pupils from any agreement requiring them to attend the receiving district's schools. A pupil exempted from such agreement would make suitable arrangements to attend school outside the receiving district. The sending district shall be liable for tuition payments to the district of actual attendance. Any exception so granted shall be for the period of one school year and shall be renewed only upon mutual agreement between the school boards concerned. In the case of the withdrawal of accreditation by the accrediting agency of the school attended in the receiving district, and by application of the person having custody of the pupil, the board of the sending district may agree to exempt pupils from a sending district from any agreement requiring them to attend the receiving district's schools. If the sending district grants the exemption, this exemption provision shall remain in effect until the accreditation of the receiving school is reinstated. A pupil exempted under this section may complete the academic year in the school to which the pupil is assigned. The provisions of this section shall apply only to area agreements negotiated on or after the effective date of this act unless the agreement indicates otherwise.

Source. 1973, 78:1. 1992, 134:2, eff. July 3, 1992.

Section 195-A:5

    195-A:5 Joint School Board Meetings. – The state board shall cause to be held, at reasonable intervals, at the request of a school board or school boards of the receiving or sending district, or on its own motion, a joint board meeting of the school boards of all school districts in the authorized regional enrollment area for the purpose of consulting and advising about any and all matters of joint interest. Each school board shall be entitled to 3 representatives at such meetings, which shall be presided over by an agent of the state board designated by the commissioner of education. Such meetings shall be advisory, consultative, and informational in nature and shall not infringe upon the legal authority and responsibility of the school board of the receiving district over the schools within such district.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:6

    195-A:6 Area School Property. – The legal title to, and administration of, an area school building, land and equipment, shall be vested in the receiving district, but it shall hold such property in trust for the benefit of all the school districts in the authorized regional enrollment area, as their respective equitable interests therein may appear.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:7

    195-A:7 Construction of Area Schools. – The construction of an area school including the purchase of school buildings, the construction of additions or alterations to existing buildings, the required new construction of such facilities during the life of the plan, the equipment thereof, and necessary land acquisition therefor, shall be the responsibility of the receiving district but it must, at all times, provide facilities of sufficient capacity to meet the estimated educational needs of the receiving and sending districts together. A receiving district may borrow money for such purposes as provided in RSA 33 as amended. However, in calculating whether it is within its debt limit, there shall be charged thereto an amount no greater than its proportionate share of any such required capital outlay, which shall be the proportion which its then estimated enrollment in the area school to be purchased, constructed or enlarged, bears to the then estimated total enrollment therein as determined by order of the state board. Also in determining the debt limit of the receiving district this same proportion of its estimated enrollment in the area school shall apply to any indebtedness outstanding of the receiving district that existed at the time of the date of operating responsibility of the authorized regional enrollment area, when such indebtedness was incurred for facilities which are included in the area school plan. The total amount of such bond or serial note issue shall be general obligations of the receiving district, fully secured by its powers of taxation. Upon application of the school board of the receiving district, that amount of such bond or serial note issue, which is in excess of the proportionate share of the receiving district as determined by the state board, shall be eligible for state guarantee, either on a declining balance basis or as a separate issue fully guaranteed, as the governor and council may decide, in accordance with RSA 195-C. The school board of the receiving district, without vote of the district, shall apply all tuition payments received from sending districts in each year first to the payment of the currently scheduled, or any past due, annual installments of principal or interest on that amount of such bond or serial note issue which is guaranteed by the state; and only after adequate provision has been made therefor may any portion of such revenue be used for other purposes.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1965, 112:5. 1969, 347:1. 1971, 83:1, eff. June 30, 1971.

Section 195-A:8

    195-A:8 Repealed by 1965, 112:6, eff. May 28, 1965. –

Section 195-A:9

    195-A:9 Discontinuance of Schools Replaced by an Area School. – Upon the date of operating responsibility of an area school, the school buildings of the various sending districts and receiving district which formerly served the same grades as the area school and have been rendered surplus thereby under the approved plan, shall automatically be deemed closed and discontinued notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 194:35 or any other applicable statute, unless the school district in which any such building is located shall have expressly voted to devote the same to some different educational use.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:10

    195-A:10 Repealed by 1969, 104:13, eff. June 24, 1969. –

Section 195-A:11

    195-A:11 Special Aid to Small Area High Schools. – In certain areas of the state where due to sparsity of population and distance between centers of population, an area high school cannot be established to serve as many school districts or pupils as would otherwise be standard, the receiving districts in any such small authorized regional enrollment areas as may be approved and established hereunder for a high school, in addition to the aid granted in RSA 198:19, shall be paid annually by the state board, from a fund appropriated by the general court, special supplemental aid in such proportionate amounts from the fund thus made available as may be determined by the state board, in accordance with the relative need of such smaller area high schools, for the purpose of faculty improvement. Such special aid shall be fairly and equitably apportioned by the state board as of June 30 in each year and paid to the eligible receiving districts in the succeeding fiscal year based upon conditions prevailing in the preceding fiscal year. Such special aid shall be deducted from current expenses of operation before tuition is calculated.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:12

    195-A:12 Enlargement of Authorized Regional Enrollment Area. –
I. The school board of a school district located in proximity to an authorized regional enrollment area, which did not join the plan when it was initially established, may petition the school board of the receiving district of such area to join the area plan. Thereupon it shall be the duty of the 2 school boards to engage in a joint study of the advisability thereof. The 2 school boards acting jointly shall have all the powers of an area school planning board as provided in RSA 195-A:3 and may prepare and sign a written plan which shall contain such of the provisions required by RSA 195-A:3, V, as may be applicable.
II. An executed copy of the proposed plan shall be submitted by the joint board to the state board and thereafter the procedure shall be that prescribed in paragraphs VI, VII, VIII, IX and X of RSA 195-A:3; provided, however, that such plan shall be submitted only to the voters of the receiving district and proposed new sending district and that prior public hearing thereon may be waived by the joint board.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1965, 112:8, eff. May 28, 1965.

Section 195-A:13

    195-A:13 Addition of New Grades to Area Plan. – Whenever several school districts have adopted and established an authorized regional enrollment area plan as provided in this chapter but have not applied such plan to all grades of elementary and secondary schools in the area, they may subsequently extend such plan to all or part of the omitted grades by establishing a new area school planning board as provided in RSA 195-A:3 and by proceeding as provided in said section to prepare a supplemental authorized regional enrollment area plan for such additional grades.

Source. 1963, 277:1, eff. July 1, 1964.

Section 195-A:14

    195-A:14 Review of Area Plan and Withdrawal of Districts. –
I. After the third anniversary of the date of operating responsibility, if requested by either a sending or receiving district governing body, an area school plan review board shall be established. The review board shall consist of 3 members from the school board of each school district which belongs to the area plan, and such members shall be selected by and from their respective school boards. The review board may also include 3 members from the school board of each of any one or more school districts located in proximity to the authorized regional enrollment area. The review board shall organize by the election of a chairman and a clerk, and may adopt rules for the calling and conduct of its meetings. It shall be the duty of the review board to consider the effectiveness of the area school plan as a method for providing improved educational services. If the review board by a majority vote of all its members determines that the area school plan should be modified, it shall submit an amended area school plan to the state board for its approval. An amended area school plan may provide for the addition of one or more new sending districts, the withdrawal of one or more sending districts, the withdrawal of the receiving district, the substitution of a different district as the receiving district, a change in the grades covered by the area plan, or any combination of the foregoing, or for the dissolution of the area; and it shall provide for the equitable adjustment of the rights and responsibilities of each member of the plan, whether present or prospective, with respect to area school facilities. If such provisions include payments from one school district to another, they may be made over a period of not more than 10 years, but the obligation to make such payments shall not be deemed indebtedness of the obligor school district for the purpose of determining its borrowing capacity under RSA 33. In addition to the foregoing powers, an area school plan review board may act as a cooperative school district planning board pursuant to RSA 195-A:15; and instead of submitting an amended area school plan, the review board may prepare and recommend the adoption of articles of agreement for a cooperative school district.
II. In considering whether to approve an amended area school plan, the state board shall apply the standards set forth in RSA 195-A:2 and shall also consider the capacity of each school district which would be affected by the adoption of the amended area school plan to successfully discharge the educational and financial responsibilities which would result from such adoption. If the state board finds that the adoption of the amended area school plan would be in the best interests of the state and of the school districts affected thereby, it shall so notify the school board of each such school district. Thereafter, each school district, its school board, voters or legislative body, and other appropriate officers, shall deal with the amended area school plan in accordance with the procedures set forth in RSA 195-A:3 as though such amended plan were an original plan being submitted under RSA 195-A:3, except that the form of the question used in each school district shall be prepared by the state board and included in its notice to each district; and the forms of question used in the several districts may be different as circumstances require. If the amended area school plan is adopted, the state board shall issue its certificate to that effect, which shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful adoption of the amended area school plan. If the amended plan is not adopted, no further action with respect to the amended area school plan shall be taken until another area school plan review board has been established pursuant to paragraph I of this section.
III. After the third anniversary of the date of operating responsibility a sending or receiving school district, at an annual or special school district meeting, may vote to undertake a study of the feasibility and suitability of a withdrawal from the area. The study shall be conducted by a committee composed of 2 school board members from each district of the area, the superintendent of schools as a non-voting member, and 2 members of the town or city governing body from the school district requesting the study. Within 180 days after the date of its formation, the committee shall submit to the state board of education either a report that withdrawal is not feasible or suitable or a report that includes a withdrawal plan prepared in accordance with paragraph IV. If the committee determines that withdrawal is not feasible or suitable, the district which voted to undertake the study may submit a minority report at the same time as the committee report is filed with the state board of education. If the committee report does not include a withdrawal plan, the minority report may include a withdrawal plan prepared in accordance with paragraph IV.
IV. A plan for the withdrawal of a district or districts from an area shall include the following:
(a) The name or names of the withdrawing district or districts and the grades.
(b) The proposed date of withdrawal from the area, at which time the withdrawing district shall be responsible for the education of its pupils and after which the area shall no longer have such educational responsibility.
(c) The liability of the withdrawing district for its share of any outstanding indebtedness of the area in accordance with paragraph V or, if the area was formed by 2 districts, provision for the disposition of property and a statement of assumption of liabilities upon dissolution of the area.
(d) A detailed analysis of the financial and educational consequences of the proposed withdrawal.
(e) The manner in which the withdrawing district or districts shall provide for the education of all pupils in the withdrawing district or districts and a plan for the education of the pupils in the remaining sending and/or receiving districts. This shall include the proposed assignment of pupils and any necessary tuition arrangements or contracts.
(f) Modifications to the area agreement necessitated by the withdrawal plan.
(g) Any other matters which the committee, consistent with the law, may consider appropriate to include in the withdrawal plan.
V. Each withdrawing sending district shall remain liable to the area, or to the receiving district in the case of a dissolution of the area, for a rental charge, as determined by the area agreement, for the length of any outstanding bond issue, and for the reduction of school building aid based on the decrease of the annual grant for the payment of debt service for school construction. Payments in discharge of such liability shall be made in accordance with a schedule which may provide for annual payments for the length of the existing bond issue or any other schedule agreed upon by the school boards of the area, or, in the event they fail to agree, as determined by the state board of education. Such payments shall be deemed to be trust funds and shall be applied by the area solely in payment of its indebtedness which was incurred to finance area school facilities and which was outstanding on the effective date of the withdrawal vote.
VI. A receiving district, 4 months prior to a vote on a bond issue for construction of new facilities or additions to an area school, shall notify a sending district of a pending vote on a bond issue. Upon receipt of such notice, a sending district may initiate a withdrawal study in accordance with paragraph III. If the sending district has initiated a withdrawal study prior to the vote in the receiving district, the sending district shall not be further obligated to any bonded indebtedness as a result of such bond issue vote if the voters in the sending district approve, by a majority vote, the withdrawal plan.
VII. The committee established pursuant to paragraph III shall submit a copy of all reports, including any minority reports, to the state board of education. If a report includes a plan for withdrawal, the state board of education shall review the proposed plan to determine whether or not the proposed plan meets the requirements of paragraph IV. If, in the opinion of the state board, the requirements have been properly addressed, the state board shall recommend for or against its adoption based on its assessment of the plan's feasibility. If, in the opinion of the state board, the requirements have not been properly addressed, the deficiencies shall be noted and the plan shall be promptly returned for revision. When the plan is resubmitted, the state board shall promptly review the revised plan, return the plan, and make a recommendation for or against its adoption based on its assessment of the plan's feasibility. The state board's recommendation shall be reported to the legislative body of the area districts. The state board shall forward the plan for withdrawal to the school board of the withdrawing school district. The school board shall publish the withdrawal plan once in a newspaper generally circulated within the area districts. The school board shall file the plan for withdrawal with the clerk of the withdrawing district and shall insert the plan in the warrant for the next annual meeting. The article in the warrant for the district meeting and the question on the ballot to be used at the meeting shall be in substantially the following form:
"Shall the school district accept the provisions of RSA 195-A:14, as amended, providing for the withdrawal of the sending (or receiving) district of __________ from the __________ area in accordance with the provisions of the proposed withdrawal plan filed with the school district clerk?"
 
 
Yes 
_________
 No 
_________
 

If a majority of the voters present and voting shall vote in the affirmative, the clerk of the school district shall forthwith send to the state board of education a certified copy of the warrant, certificate of posting, evidence of publication, and minutes of the meeting. If the board finds that a majority of the voters present and voting have voted in favor of the withdrawal plan, it shall be conclusive evidence of the withdrawal of the district and the continuation of the area or the dissolution of a 2-district area.
VIII. The vote to withdraw from an area shall take effect on July 1 of the calendar year which shall be at least 2 years after the date on which the withdrawal vote is adopted. The plan may provide for an earlier date.

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1969, 347:2. 1971, 187:1, 2. 1979, 9:1. 1988, 214:1. 1998, 271:4, 5. 1999, 15:2, eff. June 25, 1999; 119:2, eff. Aug. 9, 1999.

Section 195-A:15

    195-A:15 Conversion of Area School Plan to Cooperative School District. –
I. The school districts comprising an authorized regional enrollment area plan may convert the plan to a cooperative school district as provided in RSA 195:18 upon the expiration of 5 years after date of operating responsibility, and thereafter. Provided, however, that, if such area plan then includes a city school district or the dependent school department of a city, such conversion may only be accomplished by special act of the legislature upon petition of the cooperative school district planning board. In proceedings for conversion, the school boards of the several school districts in the area plan, acting jointly, shall constitute the cooperative school district planning board. The articles of agreement for such conversion shall provide for assumption by the cooperative school district of all outstanding debt of each receiving district incurred for its area schools, and shall provide for termination of tuition payments on date of operating responsibility of the new cooperative district.
II. [Repealed.]

Source. 1963, 277:1. 1969, 347:3. 1991, 188:4, eff. May 27, 1991 at 12:01 a.m.

Section 195-A:16

    195-A:16 Modification. – Parties to any authorized regional area agreement may, either at the time of the original agreement, or at any subsequent modification of the agreement, specify that the agreement shall cover less than 100 percent of the student population of the sending district. In the event that a chartered public school is approved within a sending or receiving district, after final approval by the state board, an area review board shall be convened pursuant to RSA 195-A:14 solely for the purpose of considering an amendment to the area agreement relative to the adoption of the chartered public school provisions under RSA 194-B. Any such amendment shall be consistent with the provisions of RSA 195-A:3, V(p). An area plan amended under this section shall be submitted to the state board for approval no later than December 1 of the year of amendment.

Source. 1992, 134:1. 2000, 106:3, eff. July 7, 2000. 2008, 354:1, eff. Sept. 5, 2008.