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Ohio students deserve the chance to succeed

Tribune editorial staff

A wise man once said we should look to the past for a clue to the future. That man, of course, was speaking of a great truth. That man assumed, though, that no significant circumstances would change.

Take the state of Ohio, for example. Look at the state's prestigious 200 years of history. One only has to look as far as one of the many resources for history to begin to grasp bits of the state's legacy and its glorious future potential.

Ohio is the birthplace of some of America's brightest and boldest.

From the Wright brothers to the five presidents who regularly walked Ohio's home soil, the state's past is glorious, indeed.

From exploring the past, one might think Ohio's future almost a shoe-in. Right? Well, we wish it were that easy. It isn't.

But what stands to change all of that potential is a lack of funding. Later this week a commission appointed by Gov. Bob Taft will meet to discuss funding options for the state's diverse education system.

School funding has been a fiercely debated topic for decades in our state. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the state's system of school funding is unconstitutional -- three times.

The problem is that the current system seems to favor rich districts over poor ones. The current system is favored by almost no one.

Ohio's constitution sets forth a clear mandate that charges the government with the responsibility of creating a "thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state."

Nowhere does the constitution stipulate that richer districts should have more opportunity or resources. Until the state decides to work out a new funding method, each district is left to fend for itself by seeking local property taxes or bond issues to create new education money.

We would hate to think that one of the students receiving less than adequate funding might not have his or her chance to become the next Wright brother or the next president. Ohio students deserve better.