By WAYNE D. KING, NH Secrets, Legends and Lore
Steve Rand is not what one might describe as an educational zealot or a fellow who tilts at windmills.
His family is about as steeped in tradition within the town of Plymouth as it gets. He took over the family business in Plymouth from his dad and, despite Walmart, the migration of business away from the town center, and all the odds, Rand’s Hardware continues to thrive on the main street in Plymouth.
He is a blend of pragmatic Yankee and street-smart entrepreneur. But behind that wry smile lies a philosopher and a visionary; a man who wants to “leave the woodpile just a little higher” when his days are done.
So when the opportunity arose for him to be a plaintiff in New Hampshire’s ongoing litigation over educational funding he did not hesitate.
The lawsuit, we’ll call it Claremont 3, though, to my knowledge, no moniker has yet been assigned to it – may be the culmination of more than 3 decades of legal action (and political inaction) based on the New Hampshire constitutional obligation to provide funding for an adequate education to all public school children.
I wanted to speak with Steve Rand, not because he can recite chapter and verse about the legal history of the Claremont cases or the numeric minutia of tax disparities between towns or their relationship to the quality of schools from high-income or low-income school districts. Rather, I wanted to speak with someone who came at this from an experiential basis; someone who has lived the disparities on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis. Someone who has seen how the system short-changes our kids and our communities.
Wayne King is an author, artist, activist and recovering politician. A three-term State Senator, he was the 1994 Democratic nominee for Governor and a founder of the Electronic Community Project, working in West Africa to enhance the reach and effectiveness of the civil society community. His art (WayneDKing.com) is exhibited nationally in galleries and he has published four books of his images, most recently, “New Hampshire – a Love Story”, His novel “Sacred Trust” a vicarious, high voltage adventure to stop a private powerline is available on Amazon.com as are the photographic books. He lives in Thornton, between Rattlesnake Ridge and the Waterville Range. He proudly flies both the American and Iroquois Flags. His website is: http://bit.ly/WayneDKing