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School funding still needs answer

Seems hard to believe that Ohio’s debate over school funding began almost 10 years ago and still, the state is only a little bit closer to a decision on how best to equitably fund schools.

Saturday, December 04, 1999

Seems hard to believe that Ohio’s debate over school funding began almost 10 years ago and still, the state is only a little bit closer to a decision on how best to equitably fund schools.

It is really no surprise that no one wants to talk about this subject in Columbus. There really is no easy answer.

Legislators from richer areas of the state do not want to see their tax money go to poorer areas. It is not a matter of compassion; it is a matter of dollars.

Legislators from the poorer districts know that something has to be done to even up the playing field if students from southeast Ohio and the inner cities are going to be able to compete in the job market in the future.

Districts in the middle are worried, too. They don’t want to see their funding disappear and their own programs cut.

This week the state superintendent of schools told Lawrence County educators that the final decision on funding was up to the courts and the Legislature.

Well, the time has come for someone to do something more than throw a few token dollars at the problem. Building quality Ohio schools is not just important for a few areas of the state. Ohio’s future is linked to the education we can provide our children, not just at the secondary and primary levels, but in college as well. There isn’t time to talk anymore. There’s work to be done.

Our children deserve more than bickering in the Legislature and more finger-pointing. Now, they need a plan.