New Hampshire

Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?


Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?

Yes—Claremont School District v. Governor (1997)

State Constitution

Part 2 Art. 83. It shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards, and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and economy, honesty and punctuality, sincerity, sobriety, and all social affections, and generous sentiments, among the people…


In New Hampshire, attendance zones could be vulnerable to an equal protection challenge and strict scrutiny review, because the NH Supreme Court has ruled education to be a fundamental right. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 193:3 “Any person having custody of a child may apply to the school board for relief if the person thinks the attendance of the child at the school to which such child has been assigned will result in a manifest educational hardship to the child.”

Open Enrollment

Voluntary for districts. Significant flexibility afforded to districts in enrollment policies. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 194-D:2

Voluntary for districts. Resident district does not appear to have the right to deny a transfer.N.H.Rev.Stat. § 194-D:2

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

Attendance zones are implicitly allowed by open enrollment law. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 194-D:2

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

None found.

Charter School Admissions

Charter schools are forbidden from discriminating against students based on their residential address within the school district. But charters are required to grant an enrollment preference to students living within the jurisdictional boundaries. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 194-B:2(IV)