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Funding research will be help for Ohio

Some Ohio legislators are not too happy about a proposal by the Ohio Department of Education to spend more than $300,000 on a study of Ohio’s school-funding system.

Saturday, September 18, 1999

Some Ohio legislators are not too happy about a proposal by the Ohio Department of Education to spend more than $300,000 on a study of Ohio’s school-funding system.

The idea is to get leading researchers from several major universities to look at the current system and to decide if it meets the needs of Ohio’s schools and their students in an equitable manner.

The proposal has come on the heels of not only the school-funding reform lawsuit, but the pending appeal of a state judge’s decision that the steps that have been taken so far by the state to make the system more equitable are simply not enough.

The complaint is that if there is a pending appeal, why should any investment be made in finding out more about an equity problem that an appeals court might disallow?

The answer: Because there is no more important issue in the state this year than whether our children – and that means ALL our children – are getting educations they can use. Providing equitable and effective opportunities for children is the only way Ohio can expect to move forward.

With half a state of students who either don’t have the skills they need to survive in college or the workplace or who must fight a lack of resources or other handicaps just to get the basics, how can Ohio hope to attract attention or jobs in the future? The rest of the state is already suffering from too many jobs and too few workers, where else industries look for the workforce they need but in areas where the employment rate is lower.

Ohio needs to spend much more than $300,000 on its education system. There are plenty of problems that need to be explored – test scores, college admissions, reaching children with emotional problems, safety, teacher recruitment and violence in the classroom to name a few.

If the Legislature wants to battle waste and save taxpayers money, they could start with some of the excesses in Columbus. That is where the cuts should come from – not from our children’s – and our state’s – future.